The Ella Brennan Award recognizes one individual each year that has made a lifetime commitment to the hospitality industry through extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments and philanthropic contributions to the community. Chef Frank Brigtsen was the Honoree this year.

Mark Romig delivered a special toast to Chef Brigtsen at the VIP Reception, where Ian McNulty served as the emcee. Also in attendance were Ike Morgan, NOWFE (New Orleans Wine and Food Experience) Board President; Ti Martin, Commander’s Palace; Chef Susan Spicer, Bayona and Rosedale; Dana D’Anzi Tuohy, NOCCA Culinary Arts Department Chair; and Kyle Schonekas of Schonekas, Evans, McGoey & McEachin, LLC.

Ever After provided the floral arrangements, and a NOCCA Ensemble featuring Jelani Bauman was the entertainment. Also performing were Nicholas Harrison, Tristen Washington and Camara Dupree Jr.

Participating restaurants and chefs who provided catering were the Four Seasons New Orleans Banquets with Chef David Harrower, Blue Oak BBQ with Chef Philip Moseley and Chef Ronnie Evans, Commander’s Palace with Chef Meg Bickford, Chemin à la Mer with Chef Donald Link and Executive Restaurant Chef Justin Koslowsky, The Gloriette with Chef Steven Marsella, McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’ with Chef Frank McHardy, Miss River with Chef Alon Shaya and Executive Restaurant Chef Kelley Schmidt, Palm&Pine with Chef Amarys Koenig Herndon and Chef Jordan Herndon and Rosedale with Chef Susan Spicer. Approximately 315 attended the event. 

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Susan Spicer, Frank Brigtsen

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Ti Martin, Poppy Tooker

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Sandra Hanson, Marna Brigtsen, Rhonda Madach

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Kevin Belton, Aimee Brown

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Gustavo Garcia, Kelley Schmidt, Justin Koslowsky, Emily Rosenberg

Ella Brennan Award Gala

Nairne Lupin, Louis Lupin