Chef Leah Chase TV Documentary On Kickstarter

NEW ORLEANS – Bess Carrick, the producer of a new TV documentary film about the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Chef Leah Chase, is raising money on Kickstarter to complete the film.

         Carrick’s final funding goal is $41,000, but, according to the Kickstarter campaign page, they need to meet $15,000 by January 5, 2015, at 3:39 p.m.

          “We hope that by setting this number and focusing a concerted effort toward directing donors to this Kickstarter campaign…that we will surpass the $15,000 and reach our end number of $41,000,” Carrick writes about prospective tax-deductible contributions.

         According to the campaign webpage, the film's principles Blackbird Media, Jim Land and Carrick own the equipment needed to create and finish the film. Once the last and final phase of funding is in place, Carrick writes, there will be no obstacles in completing the project and sending the masters and digital files to the broadcast network and the stations.

         Carrick writes on her webpage Chase is as well known as “any jazz musician or long time politician.” She writes Chase started with a sandwich shop that prospered during segregation, and now oversees Dooky Chase’s, a fine dining restaurant filled with an impressive African American art collection.

         Carrick quotes Chase as saying, “I like to think we changed the world through a bowl of gumbo.”

         Honored by chefs, philanthropists, humanitarians and civil rights activists, Chase has received awards and commendations for her efforts that have furthered the causes of art, culture and Creole cuisine. Carrick writes her documentary, which features CBS News personality Michelle Miller as narrator, will chronicle Chase’s life through the historic landscape of segregation and the intensifying interests worldwide in New Orleans cuisine and Creole culture, specifically “Creoles de Couleur.”

         Carrick writes they have shot 88% of the film, and the remainder of the documentary will focus on Chase's art collecting that began later in her life when she joined the board of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Narrator Miller and Smithsonian's African Art Museum’s Dr. Johnnetta Cole, will be featured taking a tour of Chase’s collection in January 2015, in celebration of Chase’s 92nd birthday. After taping this segment, Carrick writes they will begin post-production editing.

         Carrick said her Kickstarter campaign is also being publicized on Facebook, Twitter and during a six month run on WLAE-TV of "Cooking with Leah Chase," a program that was made during the zenith of Chase's career as a TV celebrity chef.

         The documentary’s corporate sponsors include Entergy New Orleans, Tabasco, and Harrah's community grants via Councilmembers Susan Guidry, Stacy Head, and (former) Council members Diana Bajoie Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Kristin Palmer.

         Chefs John Besh and Susan Spicer were also credited as contributing and soliciting several thousand dollars in donations from dozens of local chefs and restaurants including Arnaud's, Commander's, the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Ammari of Louisiana, Drago's, La Provence Restaurant, Chefs Adolfo Garcia and Stephen Stryjewski.

         Individual donors who have given $500 or more to the project include Margo DuBos, Alden MacDonald, Lin Emery, Dr. Terry Fontham, Stacy and Joy Bollinger, Sandy Rosenthal, Judge Paula Brown, Cokie Roberts, Roger Ogden, Russ Herman, and P K Sheerle and Gifted Nurses with Mullady Voelker and the late Lindy Boggs.

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