Barbara Chifici, owner of Deanie’s Seafood restaurants, dies of coronavirus

Five of Chifici’s seven children were involved in running his restaurants in Bucktown, the French Quarter and Magazine Street, which the family had owned since 1982.

NEW ORLEANS – Barbara Chifici, the owner of Deanie’s seafood restaurants in Bucktown, the French Quarter and on Magazine Street, died at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner on Saturday. She was 77 years old.

A statement from the restaurant group said Ms Chifici died of complications from coronavirus.

Last year, the Chifici family celebrated 38 years as the owner of Deanie’s, known for serving overflowing fried seafood platters and mountains of boiled seafood. The catering group employs nearly 300 people in its three establishments.

“My mom was an inspiration to generations of cooks and hospitality workers,” her son Darren Chifici, CEO of Deanie, said in a statement. “She has instilled a real sense of hospitality, quality, family and pride in everything she has done.”

Five of Ms. Chifici’s seven children were involved in the business. A sixth is a restaurateur in Mandeville.

Born Barbara Anselmo, she married her husband Frank Chifici in 1963. The couple operated two restaurants, Chifici’s Restaurant in the central business district and Gramboli’s in Metairie.

They bought Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant & Seafood Market in Bucktown in 1982. Mr. Chifici died in 1985.

In 2001, Ms. Chifici opened the second Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant located at the corner of Iberville and Dauphine streets in the French Quarter. Deanie’s Seafood Kitchen, located at 2200 Magazine Street, opened in 2018.

Ms. Chifici received a 2013 award from the American Culinary Federation New Orleans’s Outstanding Foodservice Professional Award and has judged numerous culinary competitions across the country during her career.

The company said it remained a staple of restaurants until the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms. Chifici also had a real estate business for many years. She was president and long-time member of the Elenian Club of New Orleans, a philanthropic group of women of Italian descent.

In addition to her children, the survivors include 12 grandchildren, two brothers and a sister-in-law.

Ms. Chifici’s funeral has yet to be taken.

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