Food & Wine created a listicle of "American Culinary Icons" sorted by age, with one "icon" for every ten years. Among a list that includes folks like Grant Achatz (30s) and Wolfgang Puck (60s) is 88 year old Leah Chase of Dooky Chase in the Treme.
Asked to explain her vision when she got involved in her in-laws' restaurant in the 1940s, she said:
My vision has been the same since the day I got here: to make things nice in my community. Black people had nothing, no nice restaurant with a table and chairs. I'm still trying to make a first-class restaurant in my community. I'll never be rich and I don't care; I'm never going to give up. I’ll stay on this battlefield till I die.And the first thing on Dooky Chase's menu? Lobster thermidor, "but nobody knew what the heck it was."