NEW ORLEANS - At tomorrow's regularly scheduled meeting, the New Orleans City Council will have a special order of business to honor the life and legacy of the late Ella Brennan, one of New Orleans' culinary legends. Members of the Brennan family will be in attendance to receive a proclamation initiated by Council Vice President Helena Moreno and signed by all members of the Council. The order will allow members to provide their individual remembrances as the Council honors one of the grande dames of New Orleans Cuisine.
"Ella Brennan was a towering figure in New Orleans culture and shattered so many glass ceilings in a historically male-dominated industry," said Council Vice President Moreno. "Her commitment to excellence and her indomitable work ethic were just two of her extraordinary qualities. Further, Ms. Ella's legacy of mentorship is evidenced by the multitude of successful culinary entrepreneurs cultivated under her loving and attentive eye. I am proud to have had the opportunity to call Ms. Ella a friend. New Orleans has lost a giant and a gem, and we will all miss her deeply."
Mrs. Brennan, a lifelong New Orleanian, broke every boundary in the male-dominated restaurant business where she worked since 1946, and consistently served as an ambassador of the city and its indigenous cuisine to the rest of the country and the world. Mrs. Brennan mentored and trained culinary greats in the kitchen including Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon, Frank Brigtsen, and Tory McPhail. Further expanding and cementing New Orleans as a culinary destination, she collaborated with her staff to curate evolving menus that offer variations on Creole standards as well as bits of Cajun cuisine. Mrs. Brennan's career attracted respect and veneration, and her work has permeated throughout our shared American culture.
"It's hard to imagine New Orleans not being known worldwide for its cuisine, but that recognition and celebration came about in large part because Ella Brennan put us on the map," said Council President Jason Williams. "She was a fearless trailblazer in a difficult industry and is sorely missed by the community she gave so much to."
Photo of the late Ella Brennan courtesy of Associated Press