Restaurateur, entrepreneur, author and sought-after speaker Ti Adelaide Martin is an outspoken champion for true hospitality in business, for her city and for the many causes she devotes herself to.
Most recently Martin devoted herself to celebrating the 125th anniversary of Commander’s Palace, along with her family members, by hosting The American Cuisine and Hospitality Symposium. This day-long discussion about the future of food and hospitality in America featured provocative sessions led by industry experts and thought leaders at the New Orleans Orpheum Theater. Restaurateurs, chefs, CEOs, food writers and students all found something inspiring from the day that was attended by more than 400 people and furthered a cause dear to Martin’s heart: creating hospitality heroes.
From co-founder in the 90s of the New Orleans Proud to Call It Home campaign, to driving the force behind the new billion-dollar airport terminal as finance chair and 12-year member of the Aviation board, to being cofounder and chair of the board of NOCHI, a new 93,000 square-foot culinary and hospitality institute, Martin’s energy appears boundless.
“I have many passions, but my truest love is for restaurants. I love restaurants. I love working in them, eating in them, talking about them, reading about them and writing about them,” says Martin.
Martin credits her mother Ella Brennan with igniting that passion. A lifelong dream came true when Ti returned the favor by releasing a book with her mother Miss Ella of Commanders Palace: I don’t want a restaurant where a jazz band can’t come marching through. On the heels of the book, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks released the documentary, Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table.
The film tells the story of the birth of the modern American food movement and captures both women’s philosophies on food, hospitality and business. The film is now available on Apple TV.
Co-proprietor of Commander‘s Palace since 1997 with her cousin Lally Brennan, Martin speaks with pride and excitement about the future. “We may hold the keys to Commander’s, but the restaurant really belongs to New Orleans,” she says.
In September 2018, Martin opened Picnic Provisions & Whiskey in Uptown New Orleans with partners Darryl Reginelli of Reginelli’ s Pizzeria and Executive Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace and SoBou. A modern corner restaurant where you can just drop in or pick up your food to go and even order free delivery, Picnic has quickly become a neighborhood staple for craveable food, daily happy hour and a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
“At all of my restaurants, we try to live up to what people expect and want to be even better and to represent what the city is all about -- not just the food but the way of life, the soul, and the spirit that is New Orleans. Most of all we will not stand still; we will always evolve.”