Remembering Willie Mae Seaton


Associated Press

FILE – In this March 4, 2007, file photo, Willie Mae Seaton cooks fried chicken for volunteers helping to rebuild her Hurricane Katrina-devastated restaurant, Willie Mae’s Scotch House, in New Orleans. Seaton, a chef recognized for her classic American food and whose neighborhood restaurant helped put fried chicken on the culinary map, has died at 99. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber, File)

Zach Brien

Willie Mae Seaton died on Sept. 18 at the age of 99.

Seaton, a native of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, founded Willie Mae’s Scotch House in the Treme. The restaurant, which opened as a bar in 1957 on St. Ann Street, is a local favorite for her southern fried chicken. According to a 2014 poll, Willie Mae’s fried chicken was one of the top-five best in the city.

In 2005, the restaurant gained national acclaim when it was named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. In 2015, President Barack Obama honored the restaurant when he ate at the Scotch House during his visit to New Orleans in August.

Seaton’s great-grand daughter, Kerry Seaton-Stewart, currently runs the day-to-day operations.