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Joe Cervantez

Executive Chef Joe Cervantez—recognized as the 2016 “Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year” by My Table Magazine— started working in restaurants at 15, in his hometown of Pearland, TX. One such restaurant’s layout required him to leave every night by passing through the bustling kitchen, which piqued his culinary interests. The lead chef noticed Cervantez’s frequent observations, and told him that if he could flip an egg without breaking its yolk, he would let him work brunch; half a case of eggs later, Cervantez succeeded, thus beginning his culinary journey.

He describes his return to Brennan’s of Houston as a homecoming, bringing him back to a kitchen both familiar and influential. Having trained under the restaurant’s former executive chef, Cervantez reveres the classic Gulf Coast-Haute Creole menu and looks forward to maintaining its time-tested appeal while introducing new takes. “There are not a lot of other restaurants in Houston who have such gravitas,” Cervantez says, excited to be back among Brennan’s rich history. “You have, for example, the iconic turtle soup—a dish that, in itself, creates memories—as well as our tableside cooking, which makes a meal so experiential, so unforgettable. “