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Letter: An American jewel

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

New Orleans is known for its many, many great, grand and beautiful things. And one of those great things is its illustrious chefs. And, when we think of its chefs, we must also think of the vast, sumptuous foods the city personifies.

One of its most renowned chefs was a woman by the name of Mrs. Leah Chase. Mrs. Chase was born on Jan. 6, 1923 in Madisonville, Louisiana, to Catholic Creole parents. After high school, she married a jazz trumpeter and band leader named Edgar “Dooky” Chase II. And both enjoyed cooking and entertaining people so much, they opened a restaurant together.

Little did they know at the time, the restaurant would become star-studded, and embellished not only with a priceless art collection, but it would also go on to win the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America Award,” as well as a litany of other highly coveted and highly prestigious awards (despite Hurricane Katrina!)....

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