THE ICON: Leah Chase
THE LEGACY: The list of diners who’ve found sustenance in the art-packed building at 2301 Orleans Ave. over the past 70 years tells the story of civil rights: Thurgood Marshall, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Avery Alexander and Oretha Castle Haley, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington. They were there because of one woman: Leah Chase, the queen of Creole cuisine, who made sure during segregation that activists and artists were well fed. At age 95, after rebuilding post-Katrina, she’s still nourishing New Orleanians.
THE ARTIST: D. Lammie Hanson, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “This was the only white-tablecloth restaurant for black people. My husband would not spend a penny in any restaurant but here. When he invited someone out for dinner, you didn’t have to ask where, just what time. You knew it would be Dooky’s.” — Mariam Ortique, widow of civil rights lawyer and later state Supreme Court Justice Revius Ortique, in a 2016 interview with Brett Anderson in The New Yorker