NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The legendary New Orleans chef and civil rights icon Leah Chase has died at 96, according to a statement her family released to news outlets.

Chase shepherded Dooky Chase's Restaurant from a sandwich shop that catered to patrons buying lottery tickets to the first fine-dining, white-tablecloth restaurant for African Americans in the city.

During the civil rights movement, she fed activists like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr.

She broke the city's segregation laws by seating both white and black customers and sent food to jailed activists.

Age didn't slow her down much. She went to her restaurant every day, using her walker while chatting with patrons and overseeing the kitchen.

Tourists from around the country flocked to Dooky Chase’s to experience Creole cooking like shrimp etouffee or jambalaya.