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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

< Back to Oral History project: The Brennan Family of New Orleans

ORAL HISTORY

Dickie Brennan


Dickie Brennan and Company

Dickie Brennan is the son of Dick Brennan and Lynne Trist Brennan. As a child, Dickie’s father would take him to Brennan’s on Royal for the Saturday brunch shift. He would float swizzle sticks in the fountains while his father worked. Brennan remembers his father introducing him to classic dishes like eggs Hussarde.

Dickie Brennan wanted to work in his family’s restaurant since he was a boy. As a teenager, he learned the foundations of cooking while working as a line cook at Commander’s Palace. His father did not push the restaurant business on him, and he encouraged Dickie to work outside the restaurant before he chose to work in the family business.

Dickie graduated from high school and attended Louisiana State University. During one summer break, he got the opportunity to intern in Mexico City with his father’s friend and fellow-restaurateur, Nick Noyes. Dickie worked at Delmonico’s and Mauna Loa, restaurants owned by Noyes. After graduating with a finance degree from LSU, Brennan went to New York to work with Larry Forgione at his new restaurant, An American Place. He then traveled to Europe to learn cooking techniques from chefs in Paris and Southern France.

Dickie Brennan made a career in his family’s restaurant business, and he extended its reach through his own ventures as a restaurateur. Under Dickie Brennan & Company, he opened four restaurants: Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, and Tableau.

Date of interview:
2017-01-21

Interviewer:
Sara Roahen

Photographer:
Ava Lowrey

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

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