Commander’s Palace Celebrates 130 Years in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – In 2023, Commander’s Palace is celebrating 130 years of restaurant history. To mark the occasion, co-proprietors Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan—alongside Executive Chef Meg Bickford and the entire Commander’s Palace family—are rolling out a yearlong calendar of anniversary programming. 

“What our guests love about Commander’s Palace is our approach to service; we are striving to be both warm and meticulous,” said Brennan in a press release. “I think it’s this blend of approachability and playfulness with uncompromising hospitality that keeps generation after generation joining us. It’s incredible to not only see our longtime regulars, but to also see new faces begin to join us weekly; it’s why we do what we do.” 

Commander’s Palace debuted in 1893 as a small Garden District saloon and restaurant. In 1969, Ella Brennan and four of her siblings took over the operation. Many notable chefs cut their teeth at Commander’s, from Paul Prudhomme and Jamie Shannon to Emeril Lagasse and the multi-award-winning Tory McPhail. Today, Bickford continues to honor tradition while exploring new frontiers. She’s the restaurant’s first female executive chef and a longtime veteran of the Commander’s Palace kitchen (she started in 2008 as a hot appetizer cook).

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“I want us to honor our roots, but that doesn’t mean we need to be constrained by them,” said Bickford. “It’s in the Commander’s Palace spirit to challenge ourselves to always grow, learn and evolve. New Orleans is not one singular thing. It’s haute Creole. It’s deeply Cajun, of course. And it’s also home to a vibrant community of Honduran-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans and more. As we move into our 130th year, we are celebrating the New Orleans of today just as much as our roots.” 

2023 anniversary programming includes the Wines of a Certain Age program, the Chef Meg & Co dinner series, the Fringe + Co fashion collaboration and a panel at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

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