Farewell, Willie Mae

September 23, 2015
By: Devra Fehrst, Tasting Table

As someone who is still pretty new and young in the New Orleans restaurant scene, I hold Willie Mae close to my heart. She created an environment in her restaurant and with her cooking that blurred all the lines of class, gender and spirituality by leveling the field and making everyone feel at home and equally nourished along the way. What's so remarkable is that she did this genuinely, just by being herself—being humble, simple and putting her heart and passion into what she did every day.

I don't know a chef or a cook in New Orleans who could say they haven't been touched by her, inspired to contribute to the community around them as she did. To bring people together through food is the simplest and most profound goal I have as a cook. Who better to have set the example than Willie Mae Seaton?