The Culinary Institute of America Honors New Orleans' First Family of Food
Brennan family of Commander's Palace fame honored by top food institution for commitment to New Orleans foodservice and hospitality
HYDE PARK, NY (March 27, 2008) - Members of the legendary Brennan family of Commander's Palace fame, are being honored for showcasing their commitment to outstanding food, caring service and efforts to secure New Orleans' position as a global culinary Mecca. One of three families to ever collectively receive this honor, the Brennan's will receive the leadership award tonight from storied industry leader Tim Zagat on behalf of The Culinary Institute of America.
"The Culinary Institute of America is proud to honor the Brennan Family for their unwavering dedication to the hospitality industry," said Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the CIA. "The Brennan family has combined extraordinary culinary flair and sharp business insight to help New Orleans become a global culinary destination. In recognition of their accomplishments, we are honored to induct the Brennan family into the CIA's Hall of Fame."
For decades, the family led by Ella, Dick, Dottie and their deceased siblings, Adelaide and John, has established itself from their flagship restaurant Commander's Palace as one of the nation's leading restaurant and hospitality families. The family continues the tradition and works daily to preserve the carefully-cultivated culinary reputation of New Orleans, which remains a cultural cornerstone of the city. The Brennan family also played a vital role following Hurricane Katrina, quickly reopening restaurants within 30 days of the storm to provide jobs for staff and food for relief workers and returning residents.
"This award recognizes the outstanding performances by thousands of individuals in the dining room, kitchen and management who for more than 50 years have been committed to exceptional customer experiences," Ralph Brennan said. "It is these individuals who make our industry great." Accepting this award on behalf of the family are Dick Brennan Sr.; siblings Dickie Brennan and Lauren Brennan-Brower; siblings Ralph Brennan, Cindy Brennan and Lally Brennan; siblings Ti Martin and Alex Brennan-Martin; and Brad Brennan.
Friends of business and tourism, the Brennan family remains active in industry activities and has assumed leadership roles within the New Orleans, Louisiana and National Restaurant Associations. Ella, Dick and Ralph served on the Board of the National Restaurant Association and Ralph served as Chairman of the Board. Ralph and Dickie are both Past Presidents of the New Orleans and Louisiana Restaurant Associations and Dickie is currently on the Board of the James Beard Foundation. All family members support local charitable activities with donations of time and product, collectively servicing in excess of 100 organizations a year.
In addition to their business and civic activities, for many years the Brennan family restaurants have served as an incubator of culinary talent, launching careers for some of the world's most renowned chefs including Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse and the late Jamie Shannon of Commander's Palace fame. Scores of restaurants throughout the country have been and remained helmed by gifted culinary talents, a mere one degree of separation from a Brennan family restaurant.
Individually and collectively the Brennan family has earned the highest of local, regional and national culinary honors. The family currently operates eleven fine-dining restaurants, nine in New Orleans (Bacco, Bourbon House, Café Adelaide, Commander's Palace, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Mr. B's Bistro, Palace Café, Ralph's on the Park, Red Fish Grill) and two outside New Orleans (Brennan's of Houston and Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at the Disneyland Resort in southern California).
About The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
Founded in 1946, The CIA is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in the culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. A network of more than 37,000 alumni in foodservice and hospitality has helped the CIA earn its reputation as the world's premier culinary college. Courses for foodservice professionals are offered at the college's main campus in Hyde Park, NY and at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, CA. CIA at Greystone also offers baking and pastry, advanced culinary arts, and wine certifications. For more information, visit the CIA's Web site at www.ciachef.edu.