NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Willie Mae Seaton, a chef recognized for her classic American food and whose neighborhood restaurant helped put fried chicken on the culinary map, has died.
Family friends confirmed that Seaton died Saturday. She was 99.
Seaton managed Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans for decades before her health declined and her great-granddaughter, Kerry Seaton-Stewart, took over. Oxford, Mississippi-based City Grocery Chef John Currence helped Seaton rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Currence said Seaton had severe respiratory issues over the last couple of months.
Currence says Seaton's food was uncomplicated and recalled whenever he ate at the restaurant, it always felt like he was sitting at his grandmother's kitchen table.
Seaton's cooking earned her the James Beard America's Classic Award in May 2005.