President Obama will be arriving in New Orleans in a couple of hours. He's scheduled to visit a charter school in the 9th ward, and then have a town-hall meeting at the University of New Orleans. Many are complaining that he'll be here just over three hours, or that he won't be visiting Mississippi or other areas hit hard along the gulf coast, or he won't bring enough of a spotlight to coastal erosion. Personally, I'm thankful he'll be here, and I am especially happy that Leah Chase is going to make sure he eats well. According to the Times-Picayune: "Because of the hurried nature of the trip no meals were built into his schedule.
Worried about this, and knowing "how skinny" the president is to start with, Chase let it be known that she would love to put together a to-go order for him." Chase stated: "I know he likes gumbo, so there will be gumbo; I know he likes shrimp Creole so there will be shrimp Creole; I know he likes fried chicken, so there will be chicken."
About a year ago I had the privilege of hearing Leah Chase speak at Xavier. I can't think of anyone better suited to prepare a meal for the president. Her cooking is the opposite of fast food, and embodies so much of what I love about New Orleans. Here's a plate she made for me one day not too long ago: