The A-listers stopped by Leah Chase's beloved restaurant on Wednesday and took lots of photos, of course

Maria Yagoda
November 09, 2017

The iconic Creole cooking establishment (and civil rights institution) has hosted presidents, literary giants, community organizers and devoted locals. As of Wednesday, the restaurant can claim the Knowles-Carter clan among its A-list guests. 

Beyoncé, Jay Z and Solange, who lives in New Orleans, stopped by Dooky Chase's Restaurant for lunch on Wednesday and took photos with chef and owner, Leah Chase, as well as staff members. Not only is the fried chicken at Dooky Chase's some of the best in New Orleans and, arguably, the country, but the restaurant played an important role in American history and the civil rights movement. 

Chase, who was awarded the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, is one of the most influential figures in food, having brought national attention to Creole cooking as well as participating in the civil rights movement in a unique and important way: Chase and her husband, Edgar "Dooky" Chase, regularly hosted members of the NAACP, civil rights leaders and black voter registration organizers at their restaurant, which opened its doors in 1941. Martin Luther King Jr. even held meetings at Dooky Chase's while organizing the Montgomery bus boycott. 

In addition to her next-level fried chicken, Chase serves some of the best gumbo in Nola, and is often credited with popularizing the dish. After Hurricane Katrina, the restaurant closed for two years to rebuild, but with the help of the community, it reopened in fighting form. 

Beyoncé and Jay Z are frequent visitors of New Orleans. The pair have been known to enjoy Gene’s Curbside Daiquiris, a 24-hour neighborhood spot known for its super-strong frozen alcoholic beverages. While we don't know what they ate at Dooky Chase, we're guessing it wasn't vegan. We hope lots of andouille sausage—and red beans and rice!—were involved.