A Long Way from the Strawberry Patch: The Life of Leah Chase

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Born in 1923 in Madisonville, Louisiana, Leah Chase would marry into the Chase restaurant family in nearby New Orleans, but that small geographic move would end up taking her worlds away. Today she is a national-award-winning cook and civic figure. This novel, told in the form of letters to God, shares her inspirational journey with middle-grade readers.
ISBN: 9781455625031
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
State: Louisiana
Images: 46
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 5.5 (w) x 8.5 (h)
Carol Allen was born in Elton, Louisiana, part of Cajun country. As a young girl, she traveled across the state with her father and became fascinated with the richness of Louisiana culture and her own unique heritage. In 1968, she began teaching at Oakdale High School, where she experienced the switch to the integrated school system. Soon after, she became an elementary-school principal and completed her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a year as an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, she returned home to become the superintendent of curriculum and instruction for New Orleans Public Schools. In 1985, Allen married a Frenchman and moved to France. There, she volunteered for various service organizations, served on boards for international schools, and worked for an educational institute in Paris that was affiliated with the American College in Paris. Allen helped plan and direct an international conference designed to address the needs and interests of expatriate women. The conference, organized and conducted entirely by volunteers, attracted four hundred conferees representing nineteen different nationalities from twenty-one different countries of residence. She went on to create the Paris Writers Workshop™, now an internationally respected program that allows aspiring writers to develop their talents. Allen has written articles for the Writer's Chronicle, Washington Post, Epicurean Magazine, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Allen compiled and edited They Only Laughed Later: Tales of Women on the Move, a book of humorous essays written by women about their experiences living abroad. In 1996, she received honorable mention from Writer’s Market for a self-published book in the children's-literary category. She has been a guest lecturer at the Geneva Writers' Conference and is a motivational speaker for the European Speakers Bureau. Allen has been close friends with Leah Chase, the subject of her biography, Leah Chase: Listen, I Say Like This, for more than twenty years. For the book, she spent hours with Chase herself, in the woman's kitchen, reminiscing her own Louisiana childhood and the diverse background and joie de vivre that both the author and her subject share. In addition to writing, Allen loves to cook. Much to the surprise of her French neighbors, she garnered the grand prize in what is known as Les Journées Gourmandes in the region of the Vaucluse, Provence, where she lives most of the time. Her winning recipes were for jams and jellies in 1995 and for Wild-Mushroom Soup in 2001.
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