In the 1990s, I was a food writer/critic living in Hong Kong, wide eyed and soaking in every bit of information I picked up from every chef local and international, that happened to cross my path.
My first experience with Commander’s Palace was when a guest chef stopped by the Sheraton Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui for a limited engagement to prepare a menu of signature dishes from this iconic restaurant. It was then I had my first taste of Turtle Soup, and the incredible souffle Commander’s Palace is famous for.
Fast forward several decades to 2015, and here I am sitting at Commander’s Palace for an awards ceremony. I felt like I’ve come full circle with my Commander’s Palace experience. On that evening, I met Ti Adelaide Martin, a lovely lady who chatted to me during the awards ceremony.
Ti Adelaide Martin is the daughter of Ella Brennan, matriarch of New Orleans’ restaurant dynasty. Now, a book entitled “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace” has been released — an autobiography of one of the most influential restaurant pioneers of her time.
**Miss Ella and Ti Martin (did you know after a meal at Commander’s Palace, you are welcome to take a tour inside the kitchen…)
From her childhood during the Great Depression, to opening esteemed eateries, Miss Ella changed the way America eats. When she and her family launched Commander’s Palace, it became the city’s most popular restaurant, where famous chefs such as Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, and James Beard Award winner Troy McPhail got their start.
Along with the book, a feature-length documentary will debut this fall at The New Orleans Film Festival. View the film teaser here.
This is the Great American Story. You can buy it at any of the Brennan restaurants, online at commanderspalace.com or on amazon.com.
**I wonder if I can get my copy of the book signed by Ti Martin when we visit Commander’s Palace later this year?
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