CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — One of North Carolina’s most beloved chefs and restaurant owners, Mildred Cotton Council aka “Mama Dip,” has died, her daughter said Monday.

Council, who turned 89 last month, was known for her southern cooking and boisterous, warm laugh. She earned the name Dip as a child from her siblings because of her ability to use her height and long arms to “dip” into the bottom of a rain barrel.

Council passed away at UNC Hospital Sunday night, her daughter, Spring Council, told WRAL News.

Spring Council said her mother had been dealing with medical problems and was receiving around the clock care at home, but a “sudden medical issue” required hospitalization over the weekend.

Council opened Mama Dip’s in November 1976 on West Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill with the help of local real estate agent George Tate. Mama Dip’s restaurant opened with just $40 for purchasing food and $24 on hand to make change. In a 2014 interview with the Tar Heel Traveler, Council said she opened the doors and crowds just came.


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