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Blakeview: Ella Brennan


This week, New Orleans marks the 90th birthday of Ella Brennan, the matriarch of a food family that revolutionized Creole cuisine. Brennan is best known for Commander's Palace, the landmark restaurant she helped run for more than 30 years. There, she mentored some of the biggest names in the food world: Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon and current chef Tory McPhail. Her restaurant career began in her brother Owen's French Quarter restaurant. When Owen died in 1955, Ella found herself forging her own career, first at Brennan's on Royal Street and, after a family split, at Commander's Palace. Her daughter Ti Martin and niece Lally Brennan now run that restaurant. Ella lives in the house next door and dines at Commander's frequently, sharing her wisdom with the next generation of foodies.

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