Missing Miss Ella


The culinary world took a hard hit this summer, losing two iconic figures within only eight days — first famed restaurateur Ella Brennan on May 31, then celebrity chef, author and documentarian Anthony Bourdain on June 8.

In true New Orleans fashion, both were quickly immortalized within days with the announcement of a poor boy at Café Reconcile called the “Bourdain and Brennan.”

New Orleans born in 1925, the fourth of six children, “Miss Ella” was the esteemed matriarch of the Brennan family, a name synonymous with quality dining throughout Louisiana and beyond.

Though she never learned to cook, after taking the helm of Commander’s Palace in 1974, she was responsible for introducing the world to the joys of a jazz brunch and bananas foster and touched the careers of greats like Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. In 2009 she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

A toast to you, Miss Ella, a force too strong to ever be forgotten.