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Mourners remember Leah Chase, Queen of Creole Cuisine

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2015, file photo, Leah Chase speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at her family's restaurant, Dooky Chase's Restaurant, in New Orleans. The legendary New Orleans chef and civil rights icon Leah Chase has died at 96, according to a statement her family released to news outlets. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Family, friends and fans of Leah Chase — the Queen of Creole Cuisine — will be gathering to pay their respects to the legendary New Orleans figure who died a week ago.

A visitation and memorial service is being held Saturday at Xavier University. A funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Chase passed away on June 1 at the age of 96.

She propelled Dooky Chase’s restaurant from a sandwich shop where black patrons could buy lottery tickets into a fine dining establishment at a time when the city’s fancy restaurants were closed to black customers.

She fed civil rights greats such as Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. as well as multiple presidents.

Chase’s work ethic was legendary, and she often used a walker to navigate the restaurant.

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