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Louisiana Eats: The Brennan's Legacy

Boasting its iconic pink facade in the French Quarter Brennan's Restauranthas been a New Orleans landmark since 1946. On this week's show, we celebrate the venerable establishment, beginning with a conversation with co-owner Ralph Brennan.

Ralph Brennan had five restaurants in his portfolio when he learned the flagship Royal Street Brennan's was in danger of passing outside of the family. Ralph tells the inside story of the steps he took to ensure that didn’t happen, and shares some personal tales of first dates that included champagne-fueled carriage rides through the French Quarter.

Then, we hear about Brennan's tiniest courtyard residents: a bevy of tranquil turtles. Simone Rathe's tricentennial take on these legendary terrapins is now immortalized in a new children's book A Topsy-Turvy History of New Orleans Ten Tiny Turtles. Next, hospitality tech entrepreneur Damian Mogavero explains the importance of raw data in managing a Brennan's enterprise. Damian has been able to use his dual passions for dining and data to create a system for “new garde restaurateurs,” a story now chronicled in his book The Underground Culinary Tour.

Lastly, we put Damian’s system to the test by checking in with one of his New Orleans case studiesthe Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. Executive Vice President Charlee Williamson does the numbers with us.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.