At 91, Ella Brennan Nonetheless Feeds (and Leads) New Orleans

“She was once there to include and carry, no longer simply me however all of the team of workers,” mentioned Mr. Lagasse, whom Ms. Brennan plucked from obscurity and put in, at age 23, as Commander’s chef within the early 1980s. “The record of other people she has impacted within the hospitality trade in The us is never-ending.”

Ms. Brennan’s circle of relatives has lately got down to be sure that her legacy is favored past New Orleans. The ones efforts culminated final yr with the discharge of a memoir, “Leave out Ella of Commander’s Palace,” written with Ti Martin, her daughter. It was once adopted via the documentary “Ella Brennan: Commanding the Desk,” directed via Leslie Iwerks. The movie, which has been screening at fairs, will likely be to be had on Netflix in Might.

The ebook and picture inform the tale of a hard-charging, no-nonsense businesswoman — her different nickname is Typhoon Ella — who excelled in a male-dominated occupation a long time earlier than gender imbalance within the eating place trade changed into a sizzling factor.

“After I first began, you could hardly see some other girl within the kitchen, a lot much less operating the display,” mentioned Sue Zemanick, the previous chef at Gautreau’s, a “Best Chef Masters” contestant and a line cook dinner at Commander’s early in her profession. “Operating at a cafe with such robust girls in rate gave me hope that I may make it.”

Photograph
Ms. Brennan is the matriarch of a longer circle of relatives of restaurateurs. She lately printed a memoir, written along with her daughter.

Credit score
Edmund D. Fountain for The New York Instances

Whilst Ms. Brennan is, as Ms. Martin put it, “as retired…

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