THE ICON: Ella Brennan
THE LEGACY: Commander’s Palace has anchored the corner of Washington Avenue and Coliseum Street since 1893. But it was Ella Brennan who made it one of the most important restaurants in New Orleans, elevating Louisiana cuisine and launching celebrity chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Writer Julia Reed calls her the “pizzazz ambassador of New Orleans.” Brennan doesn’t cook, but her keen business sense and unerring palate have made her a culinary megastar.
THE ARTIST: Saegan Swanson, Whereyart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “I deeply admire Ella’s strength and unparalleled contributions to the restaurant industry here in New Orleans,” Swanson said. “I wanted to capture her incisive, discerning gaze while portraying the power and influence this magnificent matriarch carries with her. She is a true inspiration to women, and it was an honor to paint her.”