Owner, Brennan’s of Houston
Alex grew up in New Orleans as a member of the nationally acclaimed Brennan’s restaurant family which includes the family’s nationally renowned Commander’s Palace.
After attending Louisiana State University Alex attended and graduated with honors from La Varenne, a prestigious culinary arts school then located in Paris, France. While in Paris he apprenticed at restaurants Au Quai d’Orsay and La Maree. After completing his degree he worked at Chef Roger Verge’s Michelin five star restaurant and inn in the south of France, Moulin de Mougins and its cooking school. Returning to America, he worked at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, Tavern on the Green and Maxwell’s Plum.
Alex made Houston home in the early 1980s and took over the reigns at Brennan’s of Houston which opened in 1967. With Alex at the helm, Brennan’s has received many local and national awards, including the Exxon Mobil four-star rating beginning in 2000, the Ivy Award, the AAA award, and in 2010 inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. Brennan’s also has been recognized as one of the “Distinguished Restaurants of North America” for more than a decade, is a two-time recipient of the Santé “Wine and Spirits Hospitality” award in the Southwest Region, listed regularly by Zagat among Houston’s “best” and “most popular” dining spots and recognized on Alison Cook’s Top 100 list for the Houston Chronicle from 2012-2014.
Alongside his Commander’s Palace Family of Restaurant co-owners, sister Ti Adelaide Martin and cousin Lally Brennan, Brennan’s warmth and hospitality has been extended to several new ventures, including Cafe Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar in New Orleans in the Loew’s Hotel and SoBou in The W Hotel in New Orleans, which was just named Best New Restaurant by Esquire Magazine in 2012.
Among his many accolades, Alex was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by My Table magazine, received The Golden Fork Award from Houston Restaurant Association in 2014, and was featured with his cousins as one of the “Top 50 Taste Makers” by Nation’s Restaurant News. In 2008, he and his family were inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Hall of Fame, making them one of only three families to ever receive this prestigious leadership award. In April 2014, Alex and other members of his generation of Brennans were honored as the recipients of Food Arts magazine’s Silver Spoon Award.
As the author of The Simple Truth about Your Business and a recognized national leader in the restaurant industry, Alex is a popular speaker at industry events and an active community servant. Alex has been a member of the Texas Restaurant Association’s President’s Council, a founding member of both the American Institute of Food and Wine and the Texas Restaurant Education Association Foundation. His community service includes service on the Executive Committee of the Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau, and served as the Chairman of the Board for 2012-2013. He was unanimously voted by Houston City Council in 2014 to the Board of Directors of Houston First Corporation and continues in this capacity.