Top Chefs to Toast Creole Cooking Icon at Gala

Dec 31, 2012

Top New Orleans chefs will be cooking up some of their finest fare in a salute to one of their own — the city's queen of Creole cuisine, Leah Chase.

Chefs John Besh, John Currence, Susan Spicer and John Folse will be cooking at a Jan. 5 gala celebrating Chase's 90th birthday and the launch of the Edgar "Dooky" Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation. The couple's granddaughter, Tracie Griffin, says the foundation's goal is to promote their work in the culinary arts, music and social reform.

Dooky Chase Restaurant, run by the couple since the mid-1950s, is a civil rights landmark. It's where plans to help The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stage sit-ins and to shelter others trying to further racial equality were made over bowls of gumbo.