Chef Leah Chase Elevated Food and American Society

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Leah Lange Chase (Facebook).

The late Leah Lange Chase, chef and restaurateur, lived a life of service to the nation. She utilized her creativity and business savvy to fight injustice and foster an array of opportunities for Black people in Louisiana and beyond.

The preeminent Queen of Creole Cuisine –“Ms. Chase,” as she was affectionately known–harnessed the power of food to broach some of the most difficult topics, including racial segregation. She did not simply condemn it; she helped end it. To Chase, food was not merely a commodity. It was a tool. Whether through gumbo and fried chicken, red beans and rice, shrimp Creole or shrimp Clemenceau, she challenged the pervasive inequalities confronting African Americans in the long struggle for civil rights. In her view, our nation’s founding principles were not to be taken lightly, nor were they illusive, aspirational, or exclusive.

“I have the audacity to believe that…

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