ELIZABETH KETTENRING BEGUE 2018-10-02T11:05:33-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Elizabeth Kettenring Begue

THE LEGACY: Before Emeril Lagasse, before John Folse, even before Leah Chase, Paul Prudhomme and Justin Wilson, there was Madame Begue. A German immigrant who adopted French Creole cooking traditions after settling in New Orleans in the mid-19th century, she and her husband opened a humble little eatery on present-day Decatur Street, catering to butchers working across the street in the French Market. Her reputation would soon explode. She served just one meal a day, a sumptuous, multi-course, multi-hour affair that began at 11 a.m. and which she called “second breakfast.” Recognized by many today as the first true American brunch, it would gain a reputation far beyond New Orleans. By the time Madame Begue died in 1906, she had become a local legend and the city’s first celebrity chef, coronated upon her death by The Daily Picayune as “the queen of culinary art in New Orleans.”

THE ARTIST: Queen Hope Parker

THE INSPIRATION: “I’m very proud to testify the happiest of my days, / Is March 11, ’95, at breakfast at Begue’s.” — poet Eugene Field, writing in the visitor’s book at Begue