Chapel Hill food icon 'Mama Dip' dead at 89

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Family, friends, and foodies are mourning the loss of Mildred "Mama Dip" Council.

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) -- Family, friends, and foodies are mourning the loss of Mildred "Mama Dip" Council.

According to family, Mama Dip passed away Sunday night at the age of 89.

Council died in her Chapel Hill home and was taken to UNC Hospitals where was pronounced dead.

She opened Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill more than 40 years ago.

Her journey started with just $64 - $40 for food and $24 to make change.

The business quickly flourished into a labor of family love; Mama Dip worked alongside her children and grandchildren.

"Mama Dip was not just known in Chapel Hill North Carolina. She was known throughout the world," said customer Nate Davis.

Mama Dip learned to cook by watching her family members; she started cooking at the age of 13 - first as a family necessity, then for the sheer love of it.

Council is famous for her "dump" cooking style, which involves no recipes, just measurements created by eyes, feel, and taste.

"She gave us so much," said Council's daughter Spring. "I can go in an find Mama Dip's Chicken or I can cook Mama Dip's Cornbread, then that's her. Even though she's not here, she left a part of her with us and that was cooking."

She has written two noteworthy books: "Mama Dip's Kitchen" and "Mama Dip's Family Cookbook."

To celebrate 2018, ABC11 got an in-depth look at how the crew at Mama Dip's like to ring in the new year.

The funeral will be held Sunday, May 27.

The family has changed the service's location; ABC11 will update the address when a new location is selected.