Ralph Brennan Taps Exec Chef for New Orleans Venture
The landmark building in New Orleans formerly known as Brennan's will open under new ownership with Ralph Brennan and Terry White on Royal Street in the French Quarter. The iconic pink building will retain its sense the historic bones of its interior structure, but there will be distinct differences in the design, and more importantly, a fresh, new face at the helm of the kitchen.
Veteran restaurateur Ralph Brennan, known for finding gifted chefs and giving them a wide berth of creativity in his various restaurant kitchens around the Crescent City, and his partner Terry White have clear confidence in Chef Slade Rushing, who will man the post as executive chef of the property. Brennan enjoyed several impeccable meals crafted by Rushing, and found his knowledge of ingredients and the style of his preparation at the highest level.
Most of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group chefs are well established in their kitchens, having moved up from within; others have gone on to prosper in their own restaurants around the country. Chef Rushing's first year of chopping, stewing, broiling and frying was also on Royal Street in one of Ralph’s kitchens, the longstanding bistro Mr. B’s. As a child, he built fond memories when traveling from his family’s hometown of Tylertown, Mississippi, to New Orleans for celebratory family meals at the fine dining, classic establishments in the French Quarter and on Royal Street.
The heat was on for Chef Rushing to find a job as soon as a diploma was in hand from Johnson & Wales, and New Orleans was the first stop on his checklist. Chef Rushing has a strong reverence for tradition and is determined to maintain authenticity with all aspects of the restaurant while integrating a creative and innovative approach to the menu.
"Slade's cuisine is imaginative and ingredient-based, and respects and builds on the tastes and flavors of the local culture," says Brennan.
"We're so lucky to have found a chef of his stature and talent who actually has fond memories from his childhood of the classic restaurants of New Orleans the way we all did, and we're excited to taste what he'll do next with our new venture," says White.
Chef Rushing enjoyed great success in San Francisco with Drew Nieporent. He also worked in top New York kitchens with Cyril Renaud, Mike Anthony, and Wayne Nish. More recently, he worked closer to home on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain with his former restaurant, Longbranch, and then MiLa, in the Central Business District, both of which he created with his wife, award-winning chef Allison Vines-Rushing. Their cookbook, Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With, was a 2013 James Beard Foundation Award finalist in the "Cookbooks: American Cooking" category.