“She was just somebody that you immediately felt comfortable being with,” friend and former Riverwood High School classmate Mimi Bean told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Restaurant troubles aside, food remained Catherall’s passion. For six years, she served as a board member for Atlanta-based non-profit Open Hand Atlanta, which helps people prevent or manage chronic disease through nutrition.
“She really helped us establish and maintain a wonderful relationship with different restaurant owners and chefs,” Open Hand Executive Director Matthew Pieper said.
Pieper said Catherall also expanded the group’s annual fundraiser Dining Out for Life, in which partner restaurants donate a portion of their profits to the organization. The fundraising event is scheduled for Wednesday, which also coincides with Catherall’s funeral.
The organization plans to install an engraved brick on its campus in honor of her service.
Catherall’s passion for food came through in her art, which was most notably featured on the cover of Jezebel magazine. Catherall’s cover art prominently featured a salmon, steak, and sushi accompanied by a martini and cigar — the painting served as an advertisement for Prime, one of the many Here to Serve restaurants in Atlanta.
“We would sell the cover as ad space,” said Jezebel magazine founder Mimi Bean. “We would sell to someone who was promoting a business. Leigh did a painting for Prime restaurant and we ran a story behind the painter. It was kind of a win-win.”
According to the article, Catherall developed a love for food and art after completing a yearlong program in Europe. At the time of the feature, Catherall was commissioned for several projects in California, including one for famed American restaurateur Pat Kuleto’s eateries.
“Some people are born with an artistic flair,” Bean said. “She expressed it and it was a very in your face happiness.”
Funeral services for Catherall will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Anne's Episcopal Church on 3098 St. Anne's Lane in northwest Atlanta.
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In other news:
You'll find a diverse lineup of graduation speakers at Atlanta-area colleges and universities this year. Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will deliver the keynote address at Spelman College. Legal analyst and TV host Nancy Grace will speak at her alma mater, Mercer University. Former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum will be at Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta Hawks icon Dominique Wilkins will be the keynote speaker for Morris Brown College's graduation ceremony. High