Every year on March 8th we celebrate International Women's Day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. International Women's Day celebrates women's achievements worldwide.
As much as every red blooded Milwaukean loves bloody Mary's we love brunch more! The person responsible for creating brunch is American restaurateur Ella Brennan. Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana Ms Brennan was a middle child that was thrust into the restaurant industry after a death of one of her older bothers. She never cooked or worked in a kitchen, instead worked in the front of restaurants managing quality and entertainment. All this while navigating a difficult industry almost exclusively run by men.
After a fire, and opening a new restaurant that was struggling and on the brink of closing, Ms Brennan came up with an idea to try and bring people in and separate them from a crowded dining industry, a brunch. Her restaurants focused on meals that were lighter and focused on serving up "eye opener" cocktails. Her famous New Orleans breakfasts and jazz brunches and revolutionized creole cuisine.
Her entire story is told in the award winning documentary Commanding The Table, available on Netflix. Do yourself a favor and watch it. If you like food or not, it's an amazing story of empowerment and overcoming obstacles.
Watch the preview below.
Ms Brennan became a pioneer of the modern American food movement, she pushed her chefs to the forefront helping to launch the celebrity chef phenomenon. All of her chefs went on to become celebrities; Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon, and Tory McPhail. Ms. Brennan collaborated with the staff to develop continually evolving menus that offer variations on Creole standards as well as bits of Cajun cuisine.
Ella Brennan is a household name in the restaurant industry and she passed away this last year on May 31st, 2018.
I have dined at Commanders Palace and can vouch for how amazing it is. Not just the food, but the service and how efficinet it is. I've never felt more like I was somebody than when dining there. And each and every patron gets the very same treatment. It's an American icon resturant but still feels like a relaxed trip to grandma's kitchen.
See some pictures from my visit to Ella Brennan's Commanders Palace
If you ever get to New Orleans you have to visit Commanders Palace. And next time you brunch it up, you can thank Ella Brennan.