Acclaimed chef Slade Rushing departs Brennan’s

Slade Rushing, executive chef at Brennan's 417 Royal St. in New Orleans, La. (Photo by David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune)

Slade Rushing, the celebrated chef who helped reopen Brennan’s in the French Quarter, parted ways with the restaurant Thursday (May 9), according to a statement from Ralph Brennan, who owns the restaurant with Terry White.

“He’s been an integral part of our kitchen since the beginning,” Brennan said when reached by phone late Thursday afternoon.

Rushing announced his departure Thursday morning and has already vacated his role leading the kitchen at the historic establishment, which reopened in 2014 following a lengthy legal battle.

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As executive chef, Rushing was at the forefront of the newly reopened Royal Street restaurant, which underwent an estimated $20 million in renovations.

“The entire team at Brennan’s tremendously appreciates Slade’s efforts over the past five years, which were instrumental in guiding Brennan’s to the present as one of the premier restaurants of both New Orleans and the United States,” the statement reads.

Rushing, formerly of MiLa, was a James Beard award finalist for five years in a row and under his leadership, Brennan’s earned accolades from both local and national food media, including three years of inclusion as one of the “Top 10 Best New Orleans Restaurants” as chosen by | The Times-Picayune food critic Brett Anderson.

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Rushing has left to pursue new opportunities, Brennan said, without elaborating, in a statement emailed Thursday afternoon.

“We thank him very much for his contributions to the restaurant and wish him the very best,” Brennan said.

Laura McKnight covers breaking news for | The Times-Picayune.