WYES New Orleans honors Leah Chase, the "Queen of Creole Cuisine," with a new 26-part nationwide culinary series starring members of the famed chef's family.
The series will air on WYES-TV on Saturday, April 29, and will also be available on wyes.org/live and the free WYES and PBS Apps. The episodes will air on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. For air dates and times, viewers outside the WYES broadcast region should contact their local public television station.
To Celebrate The New Cookery Series, Wyes Will Throw A Wyes Dooky Chase Tasting & Launch Party On Saturday, April 1 At 2:00 P.M., which also happens to be Wyes' 66th Birthday. Terri Landry produces and directs the series, which is executive produced by Jim Moriarty. For Wyes-Tv, she has hosted 16 National Public Television Culinary Programs, including five with Chef Paul Prudhomme and four with Chef Kevin Belton.
The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy series features meals cooked by Chase family members who have headed the restaurant following Leah's passing in 2019. Viewers will meet Leah's grandson Edgar "Dook" Chase IV, who now leads the restaurant's kitchen; her cousin Cleo Robinson, who joined Leah in the kitchen in 1980; and the restaurant's newest chef, Leah's great-granddaughter Zoe Chase, in scenes shot on site at Dooky Chase's Restaurant. Specialty drinks created by Leah's granddaughter, Eve Marie Haydel, the restaurant's beverage manager, who has updated drink recipes from the restaurant's early days, are paired with some of the meals. Chase Kamata, the granddaughter, narrates.
Each 30-minute episode will go into a distinct period in the restaurant's history. On an episode about important visitors, the Chase cooks will offer a dish for Grits and Quail that Leah served to President George W. Bush at the restaurant in 2008 at a North America Leaders' Summit. In another episode, the restaurant's significance in the Civil Rights Movement is commemorated with the preparation of Creole Gumbo, a dish Leah served to Martin Luther King Jr. and other social activists when they held strategy sessions in the restaurant's upstairs dining room in the 1960s. Dooky Chase is still a crossroads of culture and community, where gumbo is a favorite of consumers from many walks of life.
The series will also show a new spin on Creole classics that will be launched at the restaurant. Dishes like Lamb Chops with Mint Glaze and Fish Cakes with Citrus Beurre Blanc represent Chef Dook's professional experience at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and Chef Zoe's education at the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI).
Leah Chase received multiple honors for her contributions to the culinary arts and her countless acts of compassion, including the 2016 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Gustave Blache III's painting of Leah at work in the Dooky Chase kitchen is on exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, where she joins other Americans who have been recognized.
Dook Chase, speaking for the family, adds, "My grandmother's motto that she lived by was 'pray, work, and do for others.' That was a seed that was placed in us, and that is what we continue to live by."