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• Ella Brennan, matriarch of one of New Orleans’ most prominent restaurant families, and who was so deeply involved in her company’s flagship, Commander’s Palace, that she lived next door, has passed away. She was 92.

In its obituary, the New York Times writes that “Miss Brennan, as she preferred to be called, could not cook and never wanted to. Yet she was the grande dame of restaurant royalty in New Orleans whose infighting and power struggles have long been the subject of gossip and intrigue in a city as dedicated to its food as any in America.

“Restaurants mattered deeply to her — what they served, how they were run and how they treated customers — so she dived deeply into cookbooks and business books. She quizzed wine merchants and smart diners for tips on how to make her restaurants better. She traveled across the country and to Europe to experience fine dining and, along the way, developed a sophisticated palate that told her what tasted right and what needed a little more this, or a little more that.”
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