Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table

Directed by: Leslie Iwerks


Total Runtime: 96 min

Country of Origin: United States

Official Selection, Mill Valley Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival; Audience Award, New Orleans Film Festival

Festival Tent
Friday June - 2 - 3:00 PM





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“Food is entertainment to be sure, but for Brennan, sharing a table, even with hundreds of people a night, is powerfully connected to home and family.”

Mark Taylor, KQED

Ella Brennan is a household name in the restaurant industry, known as the matriarch of the Brennan family of New Orleans and the force behind first Brennan’s and then Commander’s Palace. A pioneer of the modern American food movement, she pushed her chefs to the forefront, helping to launch the celebrity chef phenomenon. She revolutionized creole cuisine, creating elaborate New Orleans breakfasts and jazz brunches.

When Ella Brennan was a teenager in 1940s New Orleans, the city’s food and drink business was in its infancy, generating less than a million dollars a year. Today, it has grown into a billion-dollar industry for the city, and many credit the Brennans (under Ella’s leadership) for shining a spotlight on Creole cuisine and forever changing how Americans eat and drink. This is the intimate and triumphant story of a groundbreaking woman.