Chef Leah Chase To Receive Inaugural Fried Chicken Festival Culinary Icon Award, Zulu Witch Doctor, Zulu Tramps To Open With Second Line

Chef Leah Chase

NEW ORLEANS – The Fried Chicken Festival presented by Raising Cane’s (FCF) announced iconic chef Leah Chase will be the inaugural recipient of the Fried Chicken Festival Culinary Icon Award. The award will be presented to Chase by Raising Cane’s CEO and Founder Todd Graves at the festival on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Lafayette Square, located in the Central Business District of New Orleans.

         FCF is set to take place from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

         "New Orleans is known for its food as well as our plethora of culinary icons,” said Cleveland Spears, III, FCF organizer and President/CEO of the Spears Group. "Mrs. Chase has made a significant impact on our culinary culture as well as our community, through her role in during the civil rights era, as well as the work of the Leah and Dooky Chase Family Foundation."

         Chase, owner of Dooky Chase Restaurant, has provided locals and tourists a taste of her famous cuisines for more than six decades. Most recently, she received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the culinary arts. Chase was even the inspiration for Disney’s Princess and the Frog. Additionally, the Leah Chase Family Foundation has supported the historically disenfranchised organizations through significant contributions to education, social justice and creative as well as culinary arts.

         “We could not think of a more deserving person for this award,” said Graves. “Mrs. Chase embodies everything that this award symbolizes and I am honored to present this award to her. My family and I have enjoyed time at her restaurant and she is a true culinary icon.”

         2015 Zulu Witch Doctor and Zulu Tramps will open the inaugural festival with a New Orleans style second line at 10:45 a.m. Led by the Pinstripe Brass Band, the second line will depart from the Drury Inn, 820 Poydras St., and will proceed to Lafayette Park to open the festival.

         "We hope that this festival will become a New Orleans tradition and what better way to open the festival than with the Zulu Witch Doctor and Tramps," said Spears Group’s Spears, III. "Only in New Orleans can you start a festival with a second line."

         Festival goers are encouraged to join the second line as early at 10:30 a.m. Upon arrival to the festival, the 2015 Zulu Witch Doctor will bless the festival New Orleans style. The Witch Doctor, one of the first characters of Zulu, is referred to as someone who heals through magical powers and prays for good health, weather and safety.

         FCF is a free outdoor festival that brings food, music, family and festivities together in celebration of the classic Southern dish. More than 26 local favorites will be showcased at the FCF. Featured restaurants include Willie Mae’s, Lil’ Dizzy’s Cafe, Fiorella’s Cafe, Bayou Hot Wings, Diva Dawg, McHardy's Fried Chicken, Milkfish, The Company Burger, Crepes a la Cart and more. Live entertainment for the festival includes Sweet Crude, John Boutte, Tank and the Bangas, the Brass-A-Holics and DJ Mannie Fresh.

         In addition, the festival will include events such as the Chicken Tender Eating Contest and the Best Fried Chicken Contest, which will be judged by local and national food writers, bloggers and critics. Also, the event will feature a 10-foot ONE LOVE wall where festival attendees will be encouraged to share a message of love and encouragement as well as what they love about fried chicken and the festival.

         The Fried Chicken Festival presented by Raising Cane’s, and is sponsored by First NBC Bank, NOLA Brewery, New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, AT&T, and Walker Motor Corporation.

         For more information



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