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Chef Angelo Elia Visits the James Beard House

Chef Angelo Elia Visits the James Beard House

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Though his smooth Italian name may sound like it, Angelo Elia is not an Italian popstar, nor is he a rockstar or a red carpet celebrity. Angelo is, in fact, a chef. But his behind the scenes career has earned him no less than a cult following, eager to leave warm and sunny Florida (where Elia's most esteemed restaurant Casa de Angelo is located) for a painfully chilly night in New York City just to eat his annual Northern Italian winter feast at the James Beard House.

After enjoying hors d’oeuvres including duck prosciutto with wild cherry–Barolo marmalade and Sicilian pistachios on crostini and crispy Maine lobster with chickpea–mint tempura and arugula–lemon oil pesto, tables buzzed with excitement as Floridians just fresh from LaGuardia Airport alongside New Yorkers eagery for a hearty meal, flipped through Chef Angelo's elegant menus, shiny and layered with light opaque paper that gave even the list of the evening's dish an air of romantic mystery.

The dinner opened with a majestic seafood trio, a chilled jumbo red prawn sprawled out on the plate with an accusatory claw: are you ready for this? The most tender and precisely cooked scallops were served alongside a chilled tomato coulis and lavendar microgreens and thin slices of Branzino with flavored with orange oil and olive pesto completed the trio triumphantly.

The next course featured Tomino cheese wrapped in culatello prosciutto atop crispy black winter truffle polenta and drizzled with aged truffle–balsamic Sauce and shaved truffles. The room fell practically silent as diners indulged in this savory, rich, and potentially deadly "I wish this was my last meal" indulgence. If Chef Angelo didn't have any new cult members in the room by then, the rest of the diners drank the metaphisical Kool Aid (disguised as impossibly melty cheese decorated with crispy prosciutto)

Chef Angelo's chestnut fettuccine with sautéed fennel, guanciale, and Taleggio–butternut squash fondue was rich and hearty, a pasta dish with a seasonal flare perfect to ignite holiday spirit.

And upon the brink of diners' fullness, a roasted petite veal chop with black truffle–potato gatto drizzled with porcini–veal demi-glace roused appetites once again.

Dessert featured a blood orange risotto gelato with Bourbon, caramel, and vanilla sauce, bringing a sweet citrusy taste of Florida with a uniquely rich, crisp, and decadent texture, a frozen Italian rice pudding, a perfect finale to a flawless meal.

June 19, 2018 Susan Salk Comments 0 Comment

From the time Jasper Mirabile Jr. was 6 years old, he knew where he belonged.

And it wasn’t the T-ball field along with all the other kids, but in the kitchen practicing culinary arts alongside his mother and grandmother.

“I would watch my Mom take six ingredients and make a complete dinner,” says the chef who has overseen a family restaurant dynasty and been honored three times by James Beard. “I think I knew back then that restaurants would be my chosen career.”

After extensive study, including the Hotel and Restaurant School and Kansas State University, Mirabile traveled the globe to deepen his understanding of food. And when he returned to Kansas City, Mo. he went to work in the family’s award-winning restaurant, Jasper’s.

First opened in 1954 by Leonardo Mirabile and his son Jasper Sr., the restaurant rocketed to success. Its accolades include induction into the DiRONA Restaurant Hall of Fame, taking its place as one of only 15 North American restaurants to be so honored.

When the baton of Jasper’s Restaurant was eventually passed to Jasper Mirabile Jr., he was more than ready.

Manning the 2,000 square-foot kitchen, he has crafted dishes so pleasing that he has been invited three times to cook at the famous James Beard House. His restaurant has been named by Zagat’s as one of America’s top 25 Italian restaurants. And for years, Mirabile has hosted a popular weekly radio show, interviewing top chefs and restaurant personalities ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Rachel Ray.

In this week’s Q&A interview with Recipe for Success @ Boxerbrand, Mirabile offers insights into the restaurant business.

Q: To what do you attribute your vast success?

I’m very outgoing. I love to talk to people. I never turn down an interview or photo op. I can talk in front of people. Since an early age, I’ve been able to get my point across while I cook.

My radio show on KCMO is a great outlet for me. It’s all talk, all food. But, it’s not about me so much as it is about support of other food artisans. We interview people from the food network, and writers. Ten years ago, today (June 18), we interviewed Anthony Bourdain. We’ve had Rachel Ray and so many others on the show, Live from Jasper’s kitchen.

Q: What was it like cooking in the James Beard House?

I was the first Italian chef and the first chef from Kansas to be invited to cook at James Beard. James Beard really brought cooking up to date in America, and after he died, the James Beard Foundation was set up in his home in New York as a mecca for chefs to go and prepare a great meal. It was an incredible honor for me. The first time I went, I took my Dad. The second and third times I went alone, but, as I stood in his small kitchen where he used to cook, I felt this incredible connection. It was a highlight of my career.

Q: What sets apart your menu’s claim to fame at Jasper’s Restaurant?

Well, my father’s most famous dishes are Jasper’s scamp alla livornese, which is a sautéed shrimp dish with a cream sherry sauce. The other is Capelli d’Angelo alla Nanni. This is our famous and signature pasta dish, prosciutto ham, mushrooms, peas, and angel hair.

My signature dish is a lobster cappuccino, which is not a coffee, but a bisque served in a cup with a sweet and savory whip cream. My second dish is a rigatoni pasta with prosciutto and melon cream sauce.

Q: How do you stay consistent?

To be consistent, we’ve had our chefs and some assistants who’ve been with us for over 38 years. We have four key people on our team who collectively represent 110 years of experience. Our longtime employees, from servers, hostesses and chefs, make it look easy, and make us shine.

Q: What two or three things should every serious restauranteur do?

Number one you have to have a good staff behind. Number two you better check that bottom line every week—make sure your sales and accounting are always going in the right direction. And number three, always save time for your family. Don’t let the restaurant take you away from them. This is why we always close on Sunday, and why I make sure our employees only work five days a week.

Jasper Mirabile Jr has received numerous cooking awards and accolades, including being named by USA Today as one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in America. Jasper is also the host of popular radio show Live from Jasper’s Kitchen, and he also serves on many cooking and restaurant associations, including chairing the Slow Food Kansas City and a vice presidency at Midwest of Gruppo Ristoratori. He is also a recipe creator at numerous local and national companies, including Hen House Markets, American Italian Pasta Co., Wisconsin Milk Marketing, Farmland, and Plugra Butter.

—Jasper’s Restaurant uses Boxerbrand’s Classic line in its table presentation. Thank you!

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Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Angelo Elia of Casa D’Angelo fame, has recently introduced a new menu of delectable Italian small plates and authentic Italian pizzas at his relaxed, affordable Tuscan eatery, D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas. The new menu is now available for lunch and dinner.

Elia has received raves for his Casa D’Angelo restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and the Atlantis Hotel in Paradise Island and his recently opened Roman dining concept in Delray Beach, D’Angelo Trattoria. He recently appeared at the James Beard House for a Winter Truffle Extravaganza and was a featured chef at South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s “Best of the Best” 2012.

The new menu at D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas reflects the fresh authentic Italian ingredients found at all of Elia’s outposts. Affordably priced, the new menu features Italian tapas including a delightful seafood salad – calamari, octopus, shrimp and mussels over arugula ($14) sautéed clams and mussels in a roasted garlic and spicy tomato sauce ($13) and the Tour of Italy – a sampling of arancini, suppli, potato croquette and crispy polenta ($13). Other great starters include the calamari & escarole soup with shrimp in a spicy tomato broth ($9) and the marinata bruschetta – marinated housemade eggplant and Parma prosciutto atop lightly toasted slices of Italian baguette ($9). Ceviche and carpacci are plentiful and include the salmone – salmon carpaccio with lemon thyme and zucchini ($11) and the maialino – cured pork, arugula, and black olives with an orange citronette ($12).

Authentic Italian pizza, a specialty of D’Angelo, is not to be missed and includes additions such as the Corsica with buffalo mozzarella, clams, garlic and crispy pancetta ($15) and the Portofino, a seafood lover’s heaven with calamari, mussels, shrimp, clams and cherry tomatoes ($16). Diners can still find the great signature items from the former menu including the suppli rice balls ($10) and a ‘create your own board’ of imported meats & cheese ($20-$40).

Guests can complement each meal with a glass or bottle of specialty Italian wines and one of D’Angelo’s housemade desserts or gelato ($6 – $7).

In honor of this county’s kitchen greats, New Times brings you the best chefs in Broward.

10. Philip Darmon
Executive chef/owner at Hardy Park Bistro
Hardy Park Bistro's chef-owner Philip Darmon, an Australia native, has charted a unique course through the culinary world, guided in no small part by coincidence and fate. While working as a chef in high-end Sydney restaurants, he lost a close friend to suicide. The traumatic event led Darmon to question the meaning of life, so when a friend — and yacht captain — offered him a job cooking on a boat, he wasted no time packing up his knives to cook in the galley of a yacht moored in Saint Thomas. After meeting his wife, Jessica, the duo planned on opening a restaurant of their own. And they did just that: On November 2013, the couple opened Hardy Park Bistro, a quaint eatery in Fort Lauderdale serving upscale food in a casual neighborhood environment. Though Darmon has an affinity for the Mediterranean and its cuisine thanks to his travels throughout the region, his food also reflects a rich Southeast Asian influence because of the area's proximity to Australia. Today, the restaurant — open for lunch, Sunday brunch, and dinner — is best known for Darmon's seasonally rotating menu.

9. Kevin Dreifuss
Executive chef/owner at Ends Meat
For Ends Meat chef-owner Kevin Dreifuss, making ends meet has an especially poignant meaning. A good portion of his professional culinary career has been spent working day and night to support himself and, more recently, his growing family. When he purchased the Ends Meat domain name in 2009, it seemed fitting. It would be four years before the chef found a vacant space in downtown Hollywood to build his first restaurant and another year of renovations before he would unveil Ends Meat. Today, the modern American eatery is earning rave reviews with locals and foodies alike, drawing crowds for a taste of his creative, quirky dishes — especially his handmade mahi fish sausages, his reuben egg rolls, and the Mitch HedBurger.

8. Lauren DeShields
Executive chef at Market 17
One of the leading ladies of the Fort Lauderdale culinary scene, this Florida native churns out an always-changing menu full of as many local products as she can get her hands on. From grilled, locally caught grouper with crispy mofongo cakes, farm zucchini, sautéed kale, pickled pearl onions, and chimichurri sauce to pan-roasted pork tenderloin with brown butter corn bread, mustard greens, broccolini, rutabaga, rainbow carrots, and mustard demi, DeShields focuses on sourcing the highest quality ingredients possible and treating them with the utmost respect. She's also got a killer charcuterie program, all made in-house. It's details like these that earned her a spot on our 2013 "Tastemakers" list.

7. Gavin Pera
Executive chef at Burlock Coast
At just 33, Pera is at the helm of your experience at Burlock Coast, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale. With a career that's spanned 15 years and several luxury hotels, he has just one goal in mind: Let nature create the menu. While the concept of using local purveyors and artisans to spotlight the abundance of South Florida-sourced fare is not new, Pera has a way of making you believe in it all over again. To say Pera relies heavily on the bounty of local farmers and fishermen is an understatement he might as well be married to the menagerie of purveyors he works with daily. Right now he's partnered with several from across the state, relationships he's cultivated over the years as tenderly as the Little Pond Farm owner who delivers his heirloom tomatoes cares for his crop. The concept even crosses into the restaurant's carefully curated marketplace, where guests and visitors can find the chef's picks for items like bread made by revered Miami baker Zak Stern (AKA Zak the Baker), a hot cup of Panther Coffee, and charcuterie from Dade-based Miami Smokers.

6. Louie Bossi
Executive chef/co-owner at Louie Bossi's Pizzeria & Ristorante
Self-taught chef Louie Bossi is the man behind the boisterous Italian restaurant of the same name that opened in downtown Fort Lauderdale late last year. Not a native Floridian, Bossi grew up in the Astoria section of Queens in the 1970s, moving to New Jersey when he was 10. A year later, Bossi was offered his first job at the local pizzeria, a move that would later lead to one of his most successful menu items to date. From there, Bossi spent more than 15 years with the Big Time Restaurant Group — the company behind Rocco's Tacos and City Cellar — earning his street cred. His dream, however, was always to have his own restaurant. After telling the partners at Big Time for years that they needed an Italian restaurant in their stable, Bossi started his own, taking inspiration from Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti (who partners Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich brought to New York City and Chicago). Nearly everything is made in-house, and the Fort Lauderdale food scene is all the better for it. The journey from pizza-maker to restaurateur has been a good one for this self-made chef.

Wanted: A four-star restaurant in Broward. Does Greater Fort Lauderdale have an outstanding eatery?

Greater Fort Lauderdale has many very good restaurants — particularly modest, family-run ethnic eateries — and a dispiriting number of mediocre, overpriced ones. But what about a great restaurant?

I ask because I have been reviewing restaurants professionally for nearly three years and I have yet to award a top rating of four stars, meaning excellent/outstanding, to any restaurant in Broward County. That’s 0-for-90, for those keeping track.

Before anyone thinks that I am some persnickety perfectionist, consider that I have awarded top ratings six times in 132 reviews (5 percent). Yet all six restaurants have been outside Broward, with four in Miami-Dade (Bazaar Mar, KYU, Plant Miami and Stubborn Seed) and two in Palm Beach County (Oceano Kitchen and 32 East, which closed in May after 21 years).

Is the problem with my home county or with me?

A lively discussion recently took place on Let’s Eat, South Florida, a Facebook group that started in October, when member Leslie Fine remarked on “the dearth of truly delicious food” in eastern Broward. Another group member, Neil Solomon, said Fort Lauderdale’s restaurant scene was “stuck in 1985.” Wayne Howell wrote, “It’s easier for restaurants to serve so-so food because there will always be tourists.” Fine considers herself a seasoned traveler and foodie who moved to Fort Lauderdale a few years ago after living in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Her opinion of her new hometown’s dining landscape: “Extreme disappointment.”

Fort Lauderdale once had award-winning, critically acclaimed chefs in their prime such as Mark Militello at Mark’s Las Olas, Johnny Vinczencz at Johnny V, and Dean James Max at Ocean 3030 at the Harbor Beach Marriott.

Lately, the hottest arrivals seem to be brewpubs, bowl-based eateries, taco joints and burger bistros with boozy shakes. I don’t think we’ll have the James Beard Award folks knocking anytime soon. And the area has lost chef-driven restaurants such as Market 17 and Hot and Soul in Fort Lauderdale and Lola’s and Ends Meat in Hollywood.

I have spoken with several chefs and restaurateurs about the lack of innovative dining, and the consensus is that Fort Lauderdale restaurantgoers are unadventurous, with vanilla palates. That makes restaurants play it safe. Higher rents preclude mom-and-pop entrepreneurs from opening and limit the field to risk-averse corporate outfits with deep pockets. And restaurateurs, faced with slimmer profit margins and more competition from better takeout options at markets and home-delivered, DIY meal kits such as Blue Apron, are paring costs by opening more fast-casual restaurants, where patrons order at the register and carry their own food.

Restaurants that try to do something different, such as Ki’Na, a modern Asian-fusion restaurant that closed after eight months, usually flop, so we end up with a never-ending stream of Italian restaurants and Mexican eateries. And pricey steak and seafood chains.

“We have a saying around the office when we’re working on a new concept: ‘We have to Browardize it,’ ” Fort Lauderdale restaurateur Tim Petrillo says. Petrillo and chef Peter Boulukos are co-founders of the Restaurant People, which operates seven eateries in Fort Lauderdale (including Yolo, S3 and Boatyard) and two in Tallahassee. Petrillo says ideas seen in other cities have to be tweaked for the local market with lower pricing and less formality.

It is disappointing that an area with so many educated, young professionals and well-heeled, older residents can’t seem to support novel, sophisticated, full-service restaurants. I traveled this year to Nashville, Portland, Maine, and Charleston, S.C., and had better meals in each during two-day trips than in Broward all year.

By no means are we a food wasteland. I have awarded 3 1/2 stars (very good) to 17 Broward restaurants, roughly one in every five reviews. But when it comes to a gastronomic showcase to wow visitors, the pickings are slim.

The next great hope for Fort Lauderdale comes with the Nov. 30 opening of Dune at the Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, a collaboration between the highly regarded outfit that runs the Auberge du Soleil Resort and its Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa Valley, Calif., and the family that owned Ireland’s Inn, which was razed for the new luxury condo project.

What makes a four-star restaurant? In my mind, it is one with creative and tasty cuisine, polished and professional service and a setting that is distinct, well-designed and comfortable. Consistency is key, along with a welcoming, unpretentious attitude. A four-star restaurant is also one that can be called a dining destination, worth a long drive or lengthy wait for a table or reservation. Institutions such as Bern’s Steak House in Tampa or Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach qualify.

Last year, South Florida radio personality and restaurant maven Paul Castronovo texted, “Woweee!” to me after he dined at Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres in Miami, one of my four-star recipients. “Miami is solid, plenty of world-class places to dine,” he wrote. But he wondered about Broward: “Can you name any world-class places up there?”

“I think Angelo [Elia] does a four-star job,” says Stacy Ritter, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

I’ve had some excellent meals at chef Angelo Elia’s flagship Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale, which was awarded 3 1/2 stars by my predecessor in a 2015 review and celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. But one of my regular dining companions reported disappointment over a birthday meal there this year that featured indifferent service and lackluster food.

I have enjoyed four-star dishes in my travels around Broward — the wondrous ramen at Shimuja in Davie and the housemade pastas at Pasta And … in Margate come to mind — but every restaurant I’ve assessed has fallen short in some regard. Shimuja and Pasta And … had problems executing seafood items on their menus. Bubbles & Pearls in Wilton Manors has bold, inventive dishes from chef Josie Smith-Malave, but the space is cramped and the high-top tables are uncomfortable. Southern Spice in Hollywood has a talented chef in Malcolm Prude, but also has underwhelming atmosphere. Arun’s Indian Kichen in Coral Springs is among the many notable and reasonable ethnic eateries found off the touristy path, but it is the proverbial hole in the wall. Monkitail at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood is gorgeous and mostly delicious, but it had uneven service on my visits and uses gas instead of traditional Japanese charcoal for its robata grill.

In the past, before my critiquing days, I had four-star meals at several Broward restaurants that fell short with my predecessor. Chef Giovanni Rocchio’s Valentino Cucina Italiana in Fort Lauderdale received three stars and a slight scolding from former dining critic John Tanasychuk in 2015. Canyon, the 24-year-old Southwestern gem in Fort Lauderdale famed for its prickly pear margaritas, was awarded 3 1/2 stars in 2015. (Our policy is to wait at least three years before re-review.)

The latest Fort Lauderdale restaurants from the Restaurant People show how dining has changed in the past generation. Township, a loud, German-style, beer-hall-meets-millennial-sports-bar, opened in June. Spatch, a fast-casual, grilled-chicken eatery, opened its second Fort Lauderdale location in May. Both are a far cry from Himmarshee Bar & Grille, the urbane, upscale restaurant that revitalized the area near the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the 1990s. Petrillo’s group this year also opened TRP Taste, a 24-seat dining room with an open kitchen that hosts special events and visiting chefs. It has an innovative vibe, but Petrillo calls it more “experimental culinary theater” than traditional restaurant, open only a few times a month.


Leah Chase was born to Catholic Creole parents in New Orleans and grew up Madisonville, Louisiana. Her ancestry included African, French, and Spanish. [12] Chase's father was a caulker at the Jahncke Shipyard and her grandmother was a registered nurse and midwife. [13] Chase was the second oldest of 13 children, according to The New York Times [14] other sources report that she had 10 [13] or 13 [15] siblings. She was six when the Great Depression struck and later recollected surviving on produce the family grew themselves—okra, peas, greens—and clothes made of sacks that had held rice and flour. [13] The children helped cultivate the land, especially on the 20-acre strawberry farm her father's family owned, which Chase described as forming an integral part of her knowledge of food:

I always say it's good coming up in a small, rural town because you learn about animals. Kids today don't know the food they eat. If you come up in a country town, where there's some farming, some cattle raising, some chicken raising, you know about those things . When we went to pick strawberries we had to walk maybe four or five miles through the woods and you learned what you could eat. You knew you could eat that mayhaw, you could eat muscadines. You knew that, growing up in the woods. You just knew things. You got to appreciate things. [13]

Madisonville, a segregated town, did not have a Catholic high school for black children, so Chase moved to New Orleans to live with relatives and pursue a Catholic education at St. Mary's Academy. [13]

Chase's roots were heavily centered in Louisiana, with only one great-grandparent born elsewhere. Her ancestry was multiethnic inclusive of African American, Spanish, and French. Her ancestors include one of the first African Americans to serve in the Louisiana state House of Representatives (1868–1870). [16]

After high school, Leah held other jobs, including marking racehorse boards for a bookie in New Orleans, in which she was the first woman to do so and an overseer of two nonprofessional boxers. [17] Chase's favorite job was working as a waitress at the Colonial Restaurant and The Coffee Pot (which has been renamed "Cafe Beignet at the Old Coffee Pot") [18] in the French Quarter in New Orleans with a pay of "$1 a day". [19]

In 1946, she married jazz trumpeter and band leader Edgar "Dooky" Chase II. His parents owned a street corner stand in Treme, founded in 1941, that sold lottery tickets and homemade po-boy sandwiches. [20] Chase began working in the kitchen at the restaurant during the 1950s, and over time, Leah and Dooky took over the stand and converted it into a sit-down establishment, Dooky Chase's Restaurant. She eventually updated the menu to reflect her own family's Creole recipes as well as recipes—such as Shrimp Clemenceau—otherwise available only in whites-only establishments from which she and her patrons were barred. [21] In 2018, Food & Wine named the restaurant one of the 40 most important restaurants of the past 40 years. [22]

Civil rights movement Edit

Dooky Chase became a staple in the black communities of New Orleans, and by the 1960s, became one of the only public places in New Orleans where African Americans could meet and discuss strategies during the civil rights movement. Leah and her husband Edgar would host black voter registration campaign organizers, the NAACP, black political meetings and many other civil leaders at their restaurant, including local civil rights leaders A. P. Tureaud and Ernest "Dutch" Morial, and later Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders.

They would hold secret meetings and private strategy discussions in her upstairs meeting rooms while she served them gumbo and fried chicken. [2] Dooky Chase had become so popular that even though local officials knew about these "illegal" meetings, the city or local law enforcement could not stop them or shut the doors because of the risk of public backlash. [23] [15]

Dooky Chase's Restaurant was key when King and the Freedom Riders came to learn from the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott. As King and the Freedom Riders were beginning to organize their bus boycott in Montgomery, they would hold meetings with civil leaders from New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Dooky Chase's meeting rooms to learn about the bus boycotts in Baton Rouge. The plan and organization of the Montgomery bus boycotts were inspired by the boycotts in Baton Rouge.

While there were no black-owned banks in African-American communities, people would commonly go to Dooky Chase on Fridays, where Leah Chase and her husband would cash checks for trusted patrons at the bar. Friday nights became popular, as people would cash their checks, have a drink, and order a po-boy. [24]

Art collection Edit

Chase studied art in high school, [15] but because museums were segregated in the Jim Crow South, she was 54 the first time she visited an art museum, with Celestine Cook. Cook was the first African-American to sit on the board of the New Orleans Museum of Art, which Chase also joined in 1972. [14] [25] Chase began catering gallery openings for early-career artists during the Civil Rights period, [15] and started collecting African-American art after her husband gave her a Jacob Lawrence painting. She soon began to display dozens of paintings and sculptures by African-American artists like Elizabeth Catlett and John T. Biggers, [21] [14] as well as hire local musicians to play in her bar. [26] In addition to serving on the board of the New Orleans Museum of Art, she was on the boards of the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Louisiana Children's Museum, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. [15]

Hurricane Katrina Edit

Dooky Chase's 6th Ward of New Orleans location was flooded by Hurricane Katrina, and Chase and her husband spent more than a year living in a FEMA trailer across the street from the restaurant. [15] To save Chase's African-American art collection from damage, her grandson placed the art collection in storage. The New Orleans restaurant community got together on April 14, 2006 (Holy Thursday) to hold a benefit, [27] charging $75 to $500 per person for a gumbo z'herbes, fried chicken, and bread pudding lunch at a posh French Quarter restaurant. The guests consumed 50 gallons of gumbo and raised $40,000 for the 82-year-old Mrs. Chase. [28] While she worked to reopen the restaurant, Chase also joined Women of the Storm, a coalition of women from neighborhoods across the city who joined together to lobby Congress for funds to restore New Orleans and other communities after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. [15] [29] Chase was one of the women associated with the group who flew to Washington D.C. to speak to Congress and the White House. [15] [30] [31]

Reopening and accolades Edit

After reopening the doors of Dooky Chase's, Leah Chase fed her creole cuisine to many important figures, including U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. [15] Known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase won many awards and achievements in her lifetime. She was awarded "Best Fried Chicken in New Orleans" by in 2014. [32] She received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement award in 2016 for her lifetime's body of work, which had a positive and lasting impact on the way people ate, cooked, and thought about food in New Orleans. [33] Many world renowned chefs, such as John Besh and Emeril Lagasse, honored Leah Chase and credited her with perfecting creole cuisine. Chase fed many celebrities, politicians and activists, such as Hank Aaron, Bill Cosby, Lena Horne, James Baldwin, and many other prominent figures in the African-American community. In "Early Morning Blues," Ray Charles sang, “I went to Dooky Chase to get me something to eat.” [34] [15]

Dooky Chase's operated under limited hours in the years after Hurricane Katrina. Chase envisioned her restaurant as a modern version of what it once was. In a time where she would sell sandwiches and snacks from a walk-up window, the bar would be a social hub in the community again, and her restaurant would be open for lunch and dinner with an extended menu so more people could enjoy her food. According to the family of Chase, the hours of operation and limited menu were intended to save Leah Chase from "her own work ethic." Chase continued to work in the kitchen of Dooky Chase and for events honoring her, until she entered the hospital a few days before Holy Thursday (April 18) 2019. [35] [14] During the last few years of her life, chef John Folse had begun to make the traditional gumbo z'herbes for the annual Holy Thursday lunch, under Chase's supervision. [14]

Leah Chase died on June 1, 2019 at the age of 96. [36]

In the media Edit

In the 2012 revival of Tennessee Williams's classic New Orleans play A Streetcar Named Desire, which had an all-African-American cast, a mention of the restaurant Galatoire's (which was segregated during the play's post-war 1940s time period) was changed to a mention of Dooky Chase's Restaurant, which was integrated. [37] Leah Chase was also the inspiration for the main character Tiana in the 2009 Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog. [38] In a 2017 episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, host Casey Webb visited Dooky Chase to try their famed Creole gumbo. [ citation needed ]

Chase Family Foundation Edit

In 2013, Chase and her husband Edgar "Dooky" Chase Jr. founded the Edgar "Dooky" Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation. According to their official website, The Edgar "Dooky" Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation was founded to "cultivate and support historically disenfranchised organizations by making significant contributions to education, creative and culinary arts, and social justice." [39] Having spent her life advocating for civil rights, supporting local artist and musicians, and providing original creole cuisine this foundation was an extension of her passion. Through this foundation, the Chase family hosted several fundraising events to support children's educations such as music, art and history. Their foundation has been sponsored by many local businesses and organizations, such as Liberty Bank, Metro Disposal, Popeyes, Entergy New Orleans and many others. [40]

  • The Dooky Chase Cookbook (1990) ISBN0-88289-661-X
  • And Still I Cook (2003) 1-56554-823-X
  • Down Home Healthy : Family Recipes of Black American Chefs (1994) 0-16-045166-3

From April 24, 2012 to September 16, 2012, the New Orleans Museum of Art exhibited Leah Chase: Paintings by Gustave Blache III. The exhibition documented chef Leah Chase in the kitchen and the dining room at Dooky Chase's Restaurant. Asked whether she thought the rendering was accurate, Chase, 89, said the young artist had gotten it right. "I told him, 'You could have made me look like Halle Berry or Lena Horne, but you made it look like me,'" she said. [41]

Clothing Edit

A red chef's coat that was owned and used by Chase is at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. [42]

Paintings Edit

Blache's painting, Cutting Squash, from the exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art was acquired for its permanent collection by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2011. [43] "We are always looking for portraits of nationally prominent figures," said Brandon Fortune (chief curator). [44] "It is a very interesting image of a woman at work, doing a very simple task, cutting squash . But in some ways it transcends the everyday and becomes something of national significance." [44] Chase has two paintings owned by The National Museum of African American History and Culture branch of the Smithsonian from the Blache series, [45] including Leah Red Coat Stirring (Sketch). [46]

Leah Chase: exhibition catalogue Edit

The catalogue for the exhibition Leah Chase: Paintings by Gustave Blache III was published by Hudson Hills Press in the Fall of 2012. [47]

Lake Austin Culinary Experience™ Serves Up Five Star Cooking School Spa Package

Spa Cuisine Takes Center Stage at Monthly Culinary Experience Week at Lake Austin Spa Resort.

Austin, Texas (PRWEB) January 26, 2015

Distinguished by a menu that successfully marries “health” and “gourmet”, Lake Austin Spa Resort shares secrets of preparing deliciously healthful cuisine for one week every month during its celebrated Lake Austin Culinary Experience ™ program. Named one of the Top Ten Best Spas for Cooking Classes, an overall focus on health and wellness pervades at the top ranked 40-room destination spa where guests can partake in up to 20 daily classes and activities and choose from 100+ spa treatments at the LakeHouse Spa to round out their culinary focused experience.

The popular series begins on the second Monday of every month, year round. Lake Austin Spa Resort’s culinary team is joined by renowned restaurateurs, cookbook authors, James Beard award winners and acclaimed television personalities in a very intimate setting. Additionally, the resort showcases the talents of their own Executive Chef Stéphane Beaucamp who began his culinary training in Paris, France and shares his passion for healthy living and clean, fresh food during his interactive classes.

In 2015, the resort will host a variety of star chefs including: Food & Wine magazine Special Projects Director and author, Gail Simmons “Top Chef” contestant Angelo Sosa The New York Times Chief Wine Critic, Eric Asimov, James Beard Award winning Chef and “Top Chef” notable Hugh Acheson and founding Food Network personality, Sara Moulton to name a few.

During the Culinary Experience weeks, in addition to daily cooking demonstrations, other activities may include Adventures in Cocktail Gardening, The World of Wine, All About Olive Oil, Guided Organic Garden Tour, Hands on Lunch and Learn, Health Benefits of Tea and Tasting, Knife Skills, Composting 101, Herbal Swags and more. The Culinary Experience program is complimentary to overnight guests of the award-winning destination spa.

Farm to Massage Table spa treatments also celebrate the foodie affair and feature herbs from the resort’s organic gardens as well as draw inspiration from indigenous ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, fig, pomegranate, eucalyptus, mesquite, honey, prickly pear, agave nectar and others.

Upcoming guest chefs include:

    February 9, 2015. Angelo Sosa was the runner up on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” and is owner of New York’s Anejo. His new cookbook, Latin Flavors Remix will be available in January 2015.

Nestled along the shores of scenic Lake Austin in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Lake Austin Spa Resort offers guests the sanctuary of a world-class spa and the warmth of a best friend’s lake house. Lake Austin Spa Resort offers all-inclusive vacation packages, which include accommodations in one of 40 charming lakeside guest rooms, three gourmet meals daily, indoor and outdoor fitness activities and classes, and a selection of spa and body treatments.

The wellness resort has received numerous awards and accolades from prestigious national travel and spa magazines since its multi-million dollar renovation and expansion in 2004. Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, US News & World Report, Fodor’s, Allure, the Zagat Survey, Health, Garden Design, SpaFinder Wellness, and American Airlines’ Celebrated Living magazine have honored Lake Austin Spa Resort as one of the best in the country and in the world.

D’Angelo Pizza Advance

Decadent desserts will include traditional sweets such as tiramisu and cannoli, along with the grandmother cake with lemon, cream and pine nuts. A fabulous showcase of housemade gelato and sorbet will also be available.

Guests can complement each meal with a glass or bottle of reasonably priced Italian wines hand-picked by Elia and D’Angelo expert sommelier Koen Kersemens, including Jankara Vermentino, Elia’s very own wine from his recently-acquired winery in Sardinia. A variety of spirits, beers and cocktails will also be available.

For D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas, architect Alfredo Leon has designed the 2,800 square feet indoor/outdoor eatery to exude a stylish yet inviting energy. Dark woods, glass shelving and sleek furnishings create a modern ambiance. Flat screen televisions showing Italian

cooking demos, a wood-burning oven, a colorful gelato display and a 14-seat custom designed bar with polished white stone countertops evoke a cool yet unpretentious vibe. For this location, Elia has assembled a top notch team to oversee day-to-day operations including general managers Marco Pistella and Antonio Elia, Angelo’s brother who recently moved from his native Italy to join the D’Angelo team. AE Restaurants corporate chef Rickie Piper, who has been with Elia for over a decade, will oversee the culinary team and work closely with them on menu development and specials.

For over 14 years, Elia has been a mainstay on South Florida’s culinary landscape and has received raves for his Casa D’Angelo restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and the Atlantis Hotel in Paradise Island D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas in Fort Lauderdale and his recently opened Roman dining concept in Delray Beach, D’Angelo Trattoria. He has been tapped numerous times to appear at the James Beard House and was a featured chef at South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s “Best of the Best” the past three years.


When Virginia Philip received her accreditation as Master Sommelier, she was only the 10th woman in the world to reach such an achievement. In 2002, she earned the title, “Best Sommelier in the United States.” Fortunately for those of us who reside in South Florida, she is based here. Philip moved to South Florida in 2000 to join the prestigious Breakers resort in Palm Beach as Wine Director. In 2011, she fulfilled a longtime goal of owning her own wine store when she opened the Virginia Philip Wineshop & Academy in West Palm Beach. Philip consults with a variety of restaurants and is active in the annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival and is a judge this year in the charity American Fine Wine Competition and Gala (coming up April 4, She has appeared on The Today Show and Food Network and has been featured in a variety of food and wine publications. Not only does her shop sell fine wines, it offers wine education programs sharing her extensive experience and expertise.

How do you feel you have influenced wine/culinary trends and/or the dining experience here? Food and wine have become so fascinating and interesting to the American public. When I decided to enter this profession, I was intrigued with the challenge and diversity of the topics involved. Along the way, I have met so many interesting people who have become friends and have visited so many interesting places. My goal became to share that passion with as many people as possible. Through my work at The Breakers, and the objective of my shop, I believe I can touch more people and teach as much as possible to a wider audience.

What is your wine philosophy? Wine tastes and dislikes are linked to the individual. I never try to convince someone to like a wine I like or dislike a wine I don’t like. My approach is simplistic with the desire to not alienate the consumer or guest with too much information or by making them feel their opinion is inconsequential. If someone wants to drink White Zinfandel, then they should be able to do that. I will try to taste them on a sweeter style Riesling however, to educate them, and experience other options they may not be familiar with. I try to approach wine in a very simple way that translates to the client so they walk away feeling like they learned something they can use every day.

What do you refuse to compromise? I refuse to compromise on poorly made wines or wines that have little history but insist upon charging ridiculously high prices.

What are your three favorite varietals? If I had to choose, Meursault and red Burgundy interspaced with a great bottle of Bordeaux always does the trick.

What’s next? The shop is still a work in progress and more and more people find out about us every week. I love the diversity of my work between my role at The Breakers and my shop. The two are within very close proximity of each other (about a mile), so running back and forth between the two excites me and re-energizes me.

Watch the video: Chefs Table @ Wilderness festival. Elizabeth Haigh (July 2022).


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