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A Family Affair The local Brennan family of Commander's Palace fame was recently inducted into the Culinary Institute of America 's (CIA) Hall of Fame. CIA president Tim Ryan praised the family, saying its members "combined extraordinary culinary flair and sharp business insight to help New Orleans become a global culinary destination." Accepting the award on behalf of the family were Dick Brennan Sr. ; siblings Dickie Brennan and Lauren Brennan-Brower ; siblings Ralph Brennan , Cindy Brennan and Lally Brennan ; siblings Ti Martin and Alex Brennan-Martin ; and Brad Brennan . Members of the extended family operate a total of 11 restaurants, including nine in New Orleans: Bacco , Bourbon House , Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar , Commander's Palace , Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse , Mr. B's Bistro , Palace Café , Ralph's on the Park and Red Fish Grill . Outside of the city there are Brennan's of Houston and Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at the Disneyland Resort in California. Brennan's Restaurant on Royal Street is operated by a different branch of the family. The Brennans are one of only three families to ever win CIA's leadership award. Ed-spansion Another, much smaller local restaurant group continues to grow in Metairie. Restaurateur Ed McIntyre has opened his third eatery, Mr. Ed's Creole Grill (5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 899-7992), which serves lunch and dinner. The casual place specializes in po-boys, burgers and plate lunch-style comfort food, with such standards as red beans or white beans with sausage, smothered pork chops, spaghetti with meatballs and fried seafood plates. McIntyre also operates Austin's Restaurant (5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533; www.austinsno.com) and Mr. Ed's Seafood & Italian Restaurant (1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 838-0022). Chefs in Motion Veteran local chef Gus Martin is the new executive chef at Muriel's Jackson Square (801 Chartres St., 586-1885; www.muriels.com). Martin has spent much of his culinary career working in Brennan-family restaurants, beginning at Commander's Palace at age 14. He later became sous chef at Mr. B's Bistro , executive sous chef back at Commander's Palace and executive chef at Palace Café , Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse and, most recently, Ralph's on the Park . Muriel's previous chef, Guy Sockrider , announced that he has started his own business. Through his new Celebrity Chef Consulting (344-0642; gsockrider@ehotelier.com), Sockrider provides private cooking classes in clients' homes as well as restaurant consulting. — McNulty

Got a tip for Food News? Email Ian McNulty at imcnulty@cox.net.

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