Thu, February 1, 2018
President, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group
Where the culinary culture of New Orleans is concerned, you don't get much more in-the-thick-of-it than Ralph Brennan. A third-generation scion of the family whose name is synonymous with New Orleans restaurants, he is steeped in the industry as a consummate professional - and as an enthusiastic wine and food connoisseur, in the truest sense of the word.
His professional life is all about welcoming tourists and visitors - and even potential visitors - to the New Orleans food culture, and welcoming his friends and neighbors who make his establishments part of their regular dining routine. In private life he is a fisherman, golfer, and skier, a highly competent cook, and a wine enthusiast with a rigorous social life.
In high school, Ralph Brennan was granted a summer job as a prep cook at Brennan's, boning chickens and peeling shrimp by the thousands before being promoted to the line, where he learned the basics - including the not-so-basic sauces at the heart of classic New Orleans cuisine.
He graduated from Tulane with a degree in economics. Because of a well-documented dispute within the family, his re-entry in to the industry was delayed. Instead, he earned an MBA and spent eight years as a CPA with Price Waterhouse.
When he finally returned to the family business, he was armed with plenty of numbers-experience, as well as a whole-hearted love of it all. Today, The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group includes Red Fish Grill in the New Orleans French Quarter, Ralph's on the Park in Mid-City New Orleans, café NOMA within the New Orleans Museum of Art, Heritage Grill with its catering facilities in the Heritage Plaza complex in Metairie, café b in Metairie, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen® located in the Downtown Disney® District at the DISNEYLAND® Resort, and Ralph Brennan Catering & Events. In fulfillment of a long held dream, in partnership with his friend Terry White, Ralph Brennan now owns Brennan's, the iconic establishment on Royal Street where he played as a child, which they re-opened in 2014 following a complete renovation. Ralph Brennan is a co-owner of Mr. B's Bistro and Commander's Palace in New Orleans, and Brennan's of Houston. For twenty years, he owned and operated the DiRoNa Award-winning BACCO restaurant in the French Quarter.