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Miss Ella Shares Her Story

“I Don’t Want a Restaurant Where a Jazz Band Can’t Come Marching Through.”- Ella Brennan

Many of you know we have love affair with the City New Orleans and its very special way of life. Well, no one embodies cialisfrance24.com “New Orleans Living” more than Miss Ella Brennan, matriarch of the Brennan family. And no one defines New Orleans hospitality like a Brennan. The Brennan family truly is America’s dining dynasty. If you’ve never seen this 2014 Silver Spoon Award feature on the Brennan family in the late Food Arts Magazinehere is a link.

 

Miss Ella of Commanxder's Palace- book

“Miss Ella reveals what makes her strong, ambitious and occasionally a blubbering mess”

Miss Ella turned 91 this month. There’s a new book and a new documentary film out about her life called “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace.” It’s a great read with a frank, sometimes funny and very poignant voice featuring Miss Ella, her co author and daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, sister Dottie and various Brennan siblings and cousins, as well as food industry luminaries like Danny Meyer, Jeremiah Tower, Emeril Lagasse and Tim and Nina Zagat sharing stories. Ti said it took some convincing to  get Ella to write the book! Trust us! It’s a love letter to New Orleans with lesson on what sharing and giving true hospitality really means.

Ti Adelaide Martin
Ella Brennan’s daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, is co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, SoBou, Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, all in New Orleans

Both Miss Ella and Ti Adelaide Martin, joined us December 7 for a delightful and spirited visit. Listen at this this link or click below.

Buy “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace” here:

 

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The Creole Queen- Still Cooking at 93- July 20 on The Connected Table LIVE!

She’s called “The Queen of Creole Cuisine.” And we are honored to have a seating with this amazing lady who is truly Louisiana culinary royalty this week in New Orleans when we head to Tales of the Cocktail.

That’s right! We’re visiting with the venerable Ms. Leah Chase, owner of New Orleans landmark Dooky Chase Restaurant on our July 20th edition of The Connected Table LIVE!

Ms Leah Chase
Ms Leah Chase

Born in 1923, one of 14 children, in Madisonville, Louisiana, Leah moved to New Orleans to live with an aunt to pursue her education since there were no high schools for black children after the sixth grade. She juggled some pretty interesting jobs for a woman back in those days to make a living including managing two amateur boxers and becoming the first woman to mark the racehorse board for a local bookie. And she waited tables in the French Quarter where she caught the restaurant bug.

Leah married New Orleans musician Edgar “Dooky” Chase in 1946. Together they took over the po’boy and lottery stand opened by Dooky’s dad in 1941 and turned it into a full service restaurant. Dooky Chase has been the gathering place for political titans, food cognoscenti, literary lions and dedicated locals ever since. During the Civil Rights movement it was the only public place in New Orleans where mixed race groups could meet to discuss strategy. Maybe thought leaders need to gather at Dooky Chase for a soul nourishing meal and to discuss how to heal the challenges today faced in our nation.

Leah Chase is said to have chided President Obama for putting hot sauce in his gumbo. (photo from Dooky Chase Restaurant website)
Just about every U.S. president has dined at Dooky Chase. Leah Chase is said to have chided President Obama for putting hot sauce in his gumbo. (photo from Dooky Chase Restaurant website)

At 93, Leah is still behind the stove and Dooky Chase, lovingly restored after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, remains a hot spot on the New Orleans culinary trail. Leah has received numerous honors for her work in the community, in civil rights and for her role in American’s culinary heritage. She’s even been the inspiration for a Disney’s Princess; Tiana in Princess and the Frog. This past May, Leah was honored with the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and this Dooky Chase restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary. That’s more than a lifetime for any restaurant!

DOOKY CHASE
Dooky Chase Restaurant has been a gathering place for generations of families, politicians, entertainers, writers and food lovers since 1941  www.dookychaserestaurant.com

We visited Ms Leah at Dooky Chase July 20 and enjoyed a delicious conversation about her life along with heaping portions of fried chicken. You could call it Ms. Leah’s “Fried Chicken for the Soul!” Listen here and share!