The Original New Orleans Diva
With sequins on her arms and a cocktail stirrer hanging from her neck, the most vibrant and vivacious member of NOLA’s preeminent restaurant family made the city her personal playground.
Illustration by Jess Smart Smiley
New Orleans is a city of folklore. In a contemporary sense, it's the grand mythos of an inebriated Lundi Gras evening, elevated by booze, that bleeds into Mardi Gras morning. We tell these stories with the type of wonderment reserved for tall tales gleaned from a fishing trip. Each experience is a redfish growing larger, hanging just within grasp, taking the bait only to a point. We never know what happens to the one that gets away, so we color the spaces with elevated memories of what was and what might have been. The story of the Brennans, the city’s best-known restaurant owners, is established history to New Orleanians, the stuff of local legend – as routinely told as the story of the Kerns, the famous Mardi Gras family whose patriarch turned his craftsmanship into a multi-million-dollar float design industry. And perhaps the greatest Brennan legend of all is that of the family jewel personified – Adelaide Brennan.
Mere years before Blaine Kern found…