Surprising chef departure

Popular executive chef departs iconic Houston restaurant in a surprise

Popular executive chef departs iconic Houston restaurant in a surprise

101 Danny Trace, left, and Christopher Gray at Houston Ballet Raising the Barre March 2015
Danny Trace, left, is leaving Brennan's of Houston. Photo by © Michelle Watson/

Executive chef Danny Trace is leaving Brennan's of Houston after service Friday night, CultureMap has learned. Trace has worked for the Brennan family for 20 years, first at Commander's Palace and then in Houston when that restaurant reopened in 2010 after being damaged during Hurricane Ike.

"On behalf of myself and the entire team, we wish him the very best in all his future endeavors, both personal and professional," Brennan's owner  Alex Brennan-Martin writes in an email. "Wherever he goes, we remain his fans."

Brennan-Martin did not elaborate on the reasons for Trace's departure.

In an interview earlier this month, Brennan-Martin explained the importance of Trace's longevity with the Brennan family:

"When I throw out a name like a steak Stanley (an original dish from 1967) . . . he knows from what we’re talking about. Over the years, we’ve done it for one reason or another," Brennan-Martin said. "Danny’s talent, he’s got this great personality that people love, he has the ability to take that personality and translate it into what people want, especially at our kitchen table."

Brennan-Martin adds that the restaurant will announce Trace's replacement "in the not too distant future." Until then, the kitchen remains in capable hands under the direction of general manager Carl Walker, who previously served as executive chef, Creole chef Jose Arevalo, and executive sous chef Martin Weaver.

CultureMap has contacted Trace to inquire about his future plans. We will update this story when we hear from him.