Tee-Eva of Tee-Eva Famous Pies & Pralines on Magazine St., passed away yesterday at University Medical Center. She was 83.. My condolences to her family. ⚜
The death was confirmed by Geannie Thomas, Mrs. Perry’s close friend and co-founder, along with Antoinette K-Doe, of the Ernie K-Doe Baby Dolls.
Eva Louis Perry, founder of Tee-Eva’s Famous Pies and Pralines, was born and raised on the Glendale Plantation of Colonie, Louisiana. Her voyage to become the “New Orleans Queen of Pralines” began in 1980 when she became an entrepreneur by sharing her grandmother’s family recipes with the world.
Eva began her career in Los Angeles, catering private events for celebrities as well as then-Governor of California, Jerry Brown. Tee Eva, short for “Aunt Eva,” was the name coined by natives of New Orleans. In our familial city, native New Orleanians often refer to respected elder women and men as “Aunt” and “Uncle.” In 1987, Tee Eva returned to the Big Easy and rented a small kitchen located in Mid-City, making her pies and pralines to sell to local restaurants and businesses. A year later, her business grew beyond the small space, and she moved to her first full service kitchen in 1991, with a successful sit-down restaurant. She ultimately found a permanent home for her much sought-after cooking on historic Magazine street in 1994, where the Tee-Eva’s shop has remained for over 15 years.
Eva’s cooking has been featured in countless magazines such as Elle, Home and Garden, Sherman’s Travel, Country Living, and Williams-Sonoma. Aunt Eva also became a television regular via the nationally-syndicated Food Network program “Road Tasted” with Jamie and Bobby Dean, as well as Anthony Bourdain’s cooking show on the Travel Channel. Tee Eva retired in 2000, passing all of her Creole family recipes to her granddaughter, who to this day fully owns and operates the business.