Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America Elects Ralph Brennan Chairman of the Board

Hyde Park, NY – Third-generation restaurateur and member of the first family of American restaurants, Ralph Brennan, has been elected the 21st chairman of the board of The Culinary Institute of America. He succeeds investment banker Robert Muh in this distinguished position.

“Ralph Brennan is one of the world’s most talented and respected hospitality professionals,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “His leadership, business acumen, and passion for the food and hospitality industries have been invaluable during his tenure as a CIA trustee, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role, as the CIA heads into its 75th year of driving the food industry forward.”

Mr. Brennan is the owner and operator of The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, which includes Red Fish Grill, Ralph’s on the Park, Café NOMA, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and Jazz Kitchen Express, Ralph Brennan’s Catering & Events, and Napoleon House. In partnership with his friend Terry White, he owns the iconic Brennan’s on Royal Street which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2021. In addition, Mr. Brennan owned and operated the DiRoNa Award-winning BACCO restaurant for 20 years.

As a foodservice and tourism advocate, Mr. Brennan has a long history of service in the hospitality industry. He served as chairman and president of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and presided over both the Louisiana Restaurant Association and the New Orleans Restaurant Association.

He has received countless awards and accolades, including the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award from New Orleans Food & Wine Experience, honoring his aunt, the woman credited with putting New Orleans cuisine on the map; and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s highest honor.

A graduate of Tulane University (BA and MBA), Mr. Brennan worked as a certified public accountant (CPA) with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) before returning to the restaurant industry.

“I am humbled and honored to be named chairman of The Culinary Institute of America,” said Mr. Brennan, who joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 2012. “As the college enters the coming year, there has never been a more challenging time for the food and hospitality industries. The CIA has an established foundation for fostering strong leaders, which provides hope and confidence that our industry will continue to pivot and prosper in the future.”

The CIA Board of Trustees consists of 25 highly respected leaders in the foodservice industry and business world. They provide expert governance and guidance for the not-for-profit college and are not compensated for their services.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

The Culinary Institute of America’s new Chairman of the Board, Ralph Brennan. (Photo credit: Ralph Brennan)
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Media Contact:

Amanda Secor
Senior Manager—Marketing Communications

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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