2014 49¢ Edna Lewis
This stamp is part of a set of five that features men and women who introduced America to regional and international cooking. The other stamps picture James Beard, Julia Child, Joyce Chen, and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi.
At a time when female chefs were few and far between, let alone black female chefs, Edna Lewis (1916-2006) made a name for herself. Miss Lewis, originally from Virginia, became the co-owner and only chef at her first restaurant, Café Nicholson, in New York City in 1949. There she revived a long-lost style of simple Southern cooking and was an instant success.
For about six years, Lewis tantalized the taste buds of up-and-coming New York residents like Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote with her fried chicken, chocolate soufflé, and other Southern dishes. When she left the restaurant, it had become a prominent New York establishment. The Café survived over five decades, closing its doors in 2000.
Miss Lewis continued to promote traditional Southern fare, scrawling down her recipes and anecdotes as she went along. In the 1960s, an editor encouraged Lewis to publish these scribbles and her first book was born, landing her squarely on the national culinary map.
Edna Lewis’ lifelong pursuit was to “recapture those good flavors of the past.” Her revival of old-style Southern fare did just that, and brought a true American cuisine back to tables across the country.
Jason Seiler created the digital illustrations for the Celebrity Chefs stamps. The images were made to look like oil paintings.
49¢ Celebrity Chefs, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: September 26, 2014
City: Chicago, IL, as part of the Chicago Gourmet food and wine celebration
Printed By: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed printing in sheets of 180 with nine panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 X 10 ¾