Leah Chase Celebrates her 90th Birthday
One of New Orleans’ most beloved icons, chef Leah Chase, celebrated her 90th birthday this past January at the Hyatt Regency amongst her family, friends and community leaders.
Chase’s birthday celebration also marked the inauguration of The Edgar “Dooky” Jr. & Leah Chase Family Foundation, which will “cultivate and support historically disenfranchised organizations by making significant contributions to education, creative and culinary arts and social justice,” according to an announcement at the celebration.
Dr. and Mrs. Norman C. Francis, Mrs. Sybil Morial, Carol Allen, Julie Henderson, Sharon Litwin, Darnell Perigean, Mr. and Mrs. Alden McDonald, Mrs. Miriam Ortique, Emery Whalen, Wendy Warren and Michael Smith served as honorary co-chairs for the evening, and along with countless other friends, family and the Hyatt team members, organized an unforgettable weekend “fit for a queen,” says the Chase family. Local legend Norman Robinson of WDSU served as the master of ceremonies, and Mayor Landrieu was among the notable guests.
Preparing a birthday feast worthy of Leah Chase is no easy task, but rest assured the culinary talents present that evening rose to the occasion splendidly. Chef Emeril Lagasse catered the reception, and the four-course dinner included samplings from chefs John Besh, Susan Spicer and John Folse, who presented a chocolate doberge cake for dessert.
Throughout the evening, Chase was serenaded with the sweet sounds of home, with musical tributes by Lillian Boutte, Ellis Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas and a special “All-Star Band.”
Event at a Glance
What: Celebration of Mrs. Leah Chase’s 90th Birthday
When: Saturday, January 5
Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans