Behind Every Great Ralph Brennan Restaurant, There Is… Chef Haley Bittermann
Bitterman Garners Awards at the Seafood Maverick’s Restaurants
Haley Bitterman is plenty familiar with achievement. The first woman to wear the top toque in the kitchen of a Brennan Family restaurant [of Commander’s Palace fame,] for the past 5 years has overseen the entire Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group as executive chef. In 2011, she may just have outdone herself.
In March, Haley made her debut on national television, presenting Crèole Jambalaya, Double Chocolate Bread Pudding and of course, some “Nawlins” King Cake to Hoda and Kathie Lee on The Today Show.
Not one to sit on her haunches, over the next few months Haley got cookin’ and won the 7th annual Euphoria Food Festival’s Culinary Cook-Off in Greenville, South Carolina. This was the first cooking competition she had ever entered, and off she walked with the top prize -- not that we would expect anything less -- winning the blue ribbon for her flavorful Shrimp Gumbo, sticky Barbecue Shrimp, savory Blackened Hanger Steak andwarm Ginger Snap Bread Pudding.
Although we’re still solidly in the fourth quarter, like the New Orleans Saints, the last few minutes are a critical home stretch to one more win for the season. Haley was just named one of New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year for 2011. This award recognizes women who have exceptional “energy, innovative ideas, and a commitment to excellence.” To be handpicked as one of only 50 women in the entire city is quite an honor, and she is takin’ home the “gold!”
Topping it off, the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group has been named one of the 2011 Best Places to Work by New Orleans City Business, as well. This year, the group has launched several new ventures, boosting the economy of our city, including Heritage Grill, Café b, Café NOMA, and Ralph Brennan Catering and Events. Haley has been instrumental in establishing these New Orleans area restaurants and continues to be an integral culinary expert at the RBRG. Remember, when you’re here, you’re family.
The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group includes Red Fish Grill in the New Orleans French Quarter, Ralph's on the Park in Mid-City New Orleans, café NOMA within the New Orleans Museum of Art, Heritage Grill and café b in Metairie, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen® located in the Downtown Disney® District at the DISNEYLAND® Resort, and Ralph Brennan Catering & Events.