CHICAGO – June 11, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the passing of Edna Stewart, owner of Edna’s Restaurant.
“Today, I join the people of Illinois in mourning the loss of Edna Stewart, who was renowned nationwide for her legendary soul food cooking and landmark restaurant.
Throughout her life, Edna Stewart proved, in the words of one philosopher, that “No mean woman can cook. It calls for a generous spirit, a light hand, and a large heart."
As the proprietor of Edna’s Restaurant on Chicago’s West Side, Edna Stewart welcomed some of the most notable figures in the Civil Rights movement, including the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They came into Edna’s Restaurant to relax, and organize and enjoy Edna’s memorable and bountiful soul food, always free of charge.
Edna Stewart persevered on Chicago’s West Side through the decades, making her restaurant a cornerstone for the community, creating jobs for hundreds of hard-working men and women, and graciously serving up Edna’s Golden Fried Chicken and the World’s Best Biscuits to thousands and thousands of loyal and satisfied customers.
Today, Edna Stewart passed away after a gallant fight against cancer, leaving behind a lasting legacy of culinary talent, gracious hospitality and quiet, effective community service.
I was proud to know Edna Stewart, I was a great fan of her restaurant, and I offer her family and friends my sincerest condolences. She was a very great lady.”