This week, Leah Chase is featured on many television networks as part of the “Ten Years After Katrina” Coverage. Please take a look and experience the greatness of this phenomenal woman who has touched not only me but the minds and hearts of people around the globe.
In my last blog I wrote about the wonderful reunion I recently had with Leah Chase at her restaurant Dooky Chase in New Orleans. I presented her with the book “The Secret Powers Of Colorful Foods,” written by my me and co-author, Charlotte Lyons, former food editor of EBONY magazine who is also a friend of Leah’s. When she saw the book was about colors of food she expressed the same wonderment for new things as she did some twenty odd years ago.
I met Leah in 1992 when she became a spokesperson for a Lawry’s Seasoned Salt print and radio campaign that I was writing.
At that time, I interviewed Leah at Dooky Chase in New Orleans and we sat on the Victorian velvet couch near the piano that Nat King Cole and other greats played in her parlor. We shared personal stories and she told me how the use of different herbs and spices brings her cuisine to life. At first she was reluctant to use the commercial Lawry’s spices. When she did, she said, “You’re not too old to learn, girl. You’re not too old to learn.” That became the end line in the print ad and radio spot.
They say when you meet an angel you are overcome with joy and different shades of emotion. That’s what happened to me when I was in Leah’s presence.
Beyond my work assignment, I connected with Leah in a spiritual way that has touched my heart ever since.
Leah Chase is a nationally prominent chef, author, media personality and honored community leader. Dooky Chase restaurant, now rebuilt after Katrina is an historic landmark. It is still the place where presidents, musicians and artists gather. Leah, is known as “the queen of Creole cuisine.” To me she is so much more. Her sharp mind, loving generosity and relentless energy to make this world a better place still takes my breath away.