Tony Chachere (June 1905- March 1995, born in Opelousas, Louisiana, United States) is most commonly known as the founder of his eponymous Tony Chachere's Creole Foods seasonings and ingredients brand and its original product, Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning. He was the first inductee into the Louisiana Chefs Hall of Fame, receiving that honor in 1995, just one week before his death.
Prior to starting his food business, Chachere worked as a traveling drug salesman during the Great Depression. At age 30, he started his own drug wholesale business, the Louisiana Drug Company (LADCO), with $100. At times working from his garage, he created his own elixirs, including Mamou Cough Syrup and Bon Soir Bug insect repellent. LADCO eventually became a million-dollar business, and Tony retired for the first time at age 50.
Two years later, Chachere began working for Equitable Life Insurance Society. He remained there for 13 years, making the Millionaires Club every year and being honored in the company's Hall of Fame. He retired for the second time at age 65.
In 1972, drawing upon a life of cooking for friends and family, Chachere published his first cookbook titled Cajun Country Cookbook which included the recipe that became his Original Creole Seasoning. Positive public response to the book led him to start Tony Chachere's Creole Foods, which still operates today in Opelousas, LA, and makes a wide range of seasonings and mixes.
At age 76, he formally retired from the food business, but continued developing recipes and new food products. Tony is said to have been a vivid storyteller, avid cook and always full of life. He frequently autographed his books with 'Laissez les bon temps roulez' (let the good times roll). In 1995, Chachere died just shy of his 90th birthday.
- Acadian Plantation Country Cookbook, by Anne Butler (Publican Publishing Co., ©2008)
- Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine, by Marcelle Bienvenu, Carl A. Brasseaux, Ryan A Brasseaux. (Hippocrene Books, ©2005)