New Orleans City Council honors incredible life, legacy of Ella Brennan

NEW ORLEANS -- The City Council welcomed members of the Brennan's Restaurant family Thursday to honor their late matriarch, Ella Brennan, who died last week at 92.

The council presented a special proclamation to the family to commemorate Miss Ella's "incredible life and legacy, and her contribution to the New Orleans culinary scene both here at home and throughout the United States."

"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.”

Brennan was the driving force behind the enormous success of her Garden District restaurant, Commander's Palace. She trained and mentored renowned chefs Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon, Frank Brigtsen, and Tory McPhail.

She's even credited with making bananas foster the iconic dessert that it is today.

"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 City Council President Williams. "When Commander's Palace won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Service her entire speech was, 'I accept this award for every damn captain and waiter in the country.' She understood the importance of every worker in a restaurant, and gave credit to the hospitality staff who make this city run."