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US civil rights campaigner and chef Leah Chase dies aged 96

Chase fed activists like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr.

Leah Chase has died at the age of 96( Gerald Herbert/AP)
Leah Chase has died at the age of 96( Gerald Herbert/AP)

New Orleans chef and civil rights campaigner Leah Chase has died aged 96.

Chase, who was known as the Queen of Creole, guided Dooky Chase’s Restaurant from a sandwich shop that catered to customers buying lottery tickets to the first fine-dining restaurant for African Americans in the city.

During the civil rights movement, she fed activists like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr.

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Leah Chase mixes her bread pudding at a restaurant in New Orleans (Alex Brandon/AP)

She broke the city’s segregation laws by seating both white and black customers and sent food to jailed activists.

Age did not slow her down much and she went to her restaurant every day, using her walker while chatting to customers and overseeing the kitchen.

Tourists from around the country flocked to Dooky Chase’s to experience Creole cooking like shrimp etouffee or jambalaya.

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