NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Barbara Chifici, owner of Deanie’s Seafood Restaurants and matriarch of the Chifici Family, has passed away. She was 77.
Family members say Chifici, who was also known as Mrs. Barbara, passed away late Saturday night at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner from Coronavirus complications.
Chifici, who came from a large Italian family of New Orleans restauranteurs, married her late husband Frank Chifici in 1963. The two operated two restaurants, Chifici’s Restaurant in New Orleans and Gramboli’s in Metairie, before buying the Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant and Market in Bucktown in 1982.
Frank Chifici passed away in 1985 after an 18-month illness.
The family celebrated 38 years as owners and operators of Deanie’s Seafood in April 2020.
In 2013, Chifici was awarded an American Culinary Federation New Orleans’ Outstanding Food Service Professional Award.
She was also the current president and longtime member of the Elenian Club of New Orleans, a philanthropic group of women of Italian decent.
“My mom was an inspiration to generations of culinarians and hospitality workers,” second-eldest son and General Manager Darren Chifici said. “She instilled a genuine sense of hospitality, quality, family and pride into everything she did.”
Chifici leaves behind seven children. Five of them are involved in the operations of Deanie’s Seafood Restaurants. A sixth is a restauranteur in Mandeville.
She also leaves behind 12 grandchildren, two brothers and a sister-in-law.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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