Richard "Dick" Brennan, Sr.

  • Died: March 14, 2015
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

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Richard J. "Dick" Brennan Sr., who helped turn New Orleans' Commander's Palace restaurant into a world-famous destination for Creole cuisine and co-founded one of the city's best-loved Mardi Gras organizations, has died at age 84.

New Orleans restaurateur dies

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Richard J. "Dick" Brennan Sr., who helped turn Commander's Palace restaurant into a world-famous destination for Creole cuisine and co-founded one of the city's best-loved Mardi Gras organizations, has died at age 83.

A publicist for Dickie Brennan & Co., the restaurant group run by his son, said the elder Brennan died Saturday.

Richard Brennan was the brother of Owen Brennan, founder of Brennan's Restaurant in the French Quarter.

Following Owen's death in the 1950s, Richard and his family continued operating Brennan's while expanding to other restaurants in other cities.

A family split in the 1970s led to Richard joining his siblings John, Adelaide, Ella and Dottie as they developed Commander's Palace in New Orleans' Garden District, not far from where Brennan was born in the Irish Channel neighborhood in 1931. Among the chefs who gained fame there were Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.

According to a biography provided by Dickie Brennan & Co., Richard married shortly after graduating from Tulane University. He completed two years of law school and enlisted in the Army. He eventually returned to New Orleans intending to finish law school. But his parents and his brother Owen died within a year of each other, and he went to work in the family restaurant business.

At Commander's, he is credited with starting the tradition of the Sunday jazz brunch.

Fellow restaurant owner Frank Brigsten, in a statement released Sunday, recalled him as a manager who paid close attention to detail.

"I learned to saute under the watchful eyes of Mr. Dick Brennan, who monitored every single plate that left the kitchen for Sunday Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace," Brigsten said. "Not all of my omelets passed muster. 'Can we do a little better than that?' he would gently ask."

Aside from his success in the restaurant business, Richard Brennan is credited, along with his nephew Pip Brennan, with the creation of the Krewe of Bacchus, which stages one of the city's most elaborate Carnival season parades each year on the Sunday before Mardi Gras. Founded in 1968, the krewe is famous for huge floats with national celebrities serving as "monarchs" of the parade.

Brennan is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Lynne Trist Brennan, two children and six grandchildren.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Those games are really cute and very apaolpchabre to kids. My nephews will be like this kind of games and I am very impressed on the for doing those such a wonderful games. Thanks.

Posted by Bruno - UGSaoITw5RCQ, OH - Nx4lWXddrP   June 13, 2015

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Posted by Jarmo - 76279oG9GR, FL - wSeYMDsTbnjH   June 13, 2015

We are so sorry to hear about Mr Dick Brennan. What a great man and so kind, he was so nice to me
and my wife. We will never forget him. He always make us welcome, that why we keep coming back.
We be back in April to pay our respect. Brennan Family take care we Pray for your lost.
Art & Gail Theriot. Murphy, NC.

Posted by Art Theriot - Murphy, NC - Friend   March 20, 2015

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Richard Brennan, Sr. May the God of all comfort be with you at this most difficult time. Please know that our loving Creator never intended for death to be a part of life. He assures us in Hosea 13:14, "from the power of the grave I [God] will redeem them."

Posted by O. Miller - NY   March 16, 2015


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Richard J. "Dick" Brennan Sr., who helped turn New Orleans' Commander's Palace restaurant into a world-famous destination for Creole cuisine and co-founded one of the city's best-loved Mardi Gras organizations, has died at age 84.