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The series, “Kitchen Queens: New Orleans,” is dedicated to culinary pioneer Leah Chase, who died last year at the age of 96. Chase was head chef and matriarch of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.
—The Daily Review/Diane Miller Fears

New cooking series spotlights the women chefs in NOLA

NEW ORLEANS —WYES-TV will present a new cooking series that turns the spotlight on women who are changing the culinary landscape of New Orleans in “Kitchen Queens: New Orleans.”
The 26-part series will introduce viewers to female chefs who are making their mark on the city’s food scene with unforgettable and uncommon dishes, according to the Louisiana Public Broadcasting news release.
On May 16 at 10 a.m. both Louisiana PBS member stations, WYES and LPB, will premiere “Kitchen Queens: New Orleans.”
LPB viewers can watch the entire series beginning June 13 at noon. Viewers can also watch the premiere simultaneously online at wyes.org.
To capture the dynamics of this transforming industry, all of the dishes in the series were shot on location in kitchens that ran the gamut from an expansive teaching kitchen at the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute, to the compact Diva Dawg food truck, to homey digs in Mosquito Supper Club’s Creole cottage.
Women whose unique voices and recipes will be highlighted in Kitchen Queens: New Orleans are:
—Melissa Araujo, Saveur Catering
—Cara Benson, Tartine/Toast
—Meg Bickford, Commander’s Palace
—Jana Billiot, Restaurant R’evolution
—Haley Bittermann, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group
—Lenora Chong, Morrow’s
—Maribeth Del Castillo, Taceaux Loceaux
—Tanya Dubuclet, Neyow’s Creole Café
—Megan Forman, Gracious Bakery Café
—Tia Henry, Café Dauphine
—Amarys Herndon, Palm & Pine
—Christina do Carmo Honn, Café Cour/Carmo
—Ericka Michelle Lassiar, Diva Dawg Food Truck
—Nicole Mackie, Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread, Chicken and Waffles
—Melissa Martin, Mosquito Supper Club
—Luot Nguyen, Magasin Café
—Christie Plaisance, Bouligny Tavern
—Leighann Smith, Piece of Meat
—Susan Spicer, Rosedale/Bayona
—Alison Vega-Knoll, Station 6
—Allison Vines-Rushing, NOCHI
—Cynthia VuTran, Café Minh
—Becky Wasden, Two Girls One Shuck
—Rebecca Wilcomb, Gianna,
—Sue Zemanick, Zasu
The series is by production mavens Terri Landry and Dawn Smith, who have spearheaded 13 previous national cooking series for WYES. That number includes five starring the late Chef Paul Prudhomme and, most recently, three with Chef Kevin Belton.
According to Landry, who is producer-director, a series featuring female chefs has been on her radar for years.
“As women in all walks of life are being acknowledged and celebrated, the timing was right,” she said. “There was a terrible old saying that ‘women make good cooks, but men make better chefs. Our Kitchen Queens are reimagining the restaurant world as chefs and restaurateurs.”
“It was an honor and a pleasure to feature these chefs,” said associate producer Smith. “Between dishes we exchanged stories about our families and really bonded with these incredibly hard working, multitaskers!”
The series is dedicated to culinary pioneer Leah Chase, who died last year at the age of 96. Chase was head chef and matriarch of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, one of the best-known and culturally significant dining establishments in New Orleans. Her work in the culinary arts and as an activist led to countless awards, including a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
On Kitchen Queens: New Orleans, grandson Edgar “Dooky” Chase IV, and niece Cleo Robinson prepare three of Leah’s signature dishes, while reflecting on her life and legacy.

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