My Own Little Place
In 2007, when I finally found a place to open my own little spot, I coined the phrase “French Soul Food” to describe the personal style of cuisine I wanted to bring to the public. What I hoped to convey was a soulful mixture of Southern, Creole and French cuisines presented in a down-home style and atmosphere.
Fueled by my desire to charm folks with the tastes of my hometown, New Orleans, and with the support of Libby Truesdell, my amazing partner (now my wife), I was able to turn the shoddy Tenderloin greasy spoon I found on Craigslist into my dream restaurant. Our little spot and our family have expanded now—Brenda’s Meat & Three on Divisadero and Brenda’s on Broadway in Oakland. Blessed by the hundreds of thousands of guests who have visited us from near and far over the years, Brenda’s is still going strong!
So if you’re craving something soulful, satisfying and sexy, come by and try us out. If you’ve already been by, I thank you and hope to welcome you back again soon—and often! Thanks.
Hennessy began sharing his many talents with Brenda’s in 2022—first in Oakland, then quickly moving to our flagship restaurant in San Francisco. Between growing up in the Bay Area and spending time with his Creole family around Natchitoches and Lake Charles, Louisiana, he’s a natural fit for Brenda’s. In addition to managing Oakland’s classic Jamaican restaurant, Kingston 11, his experience spans music management, skilled nursing, and a variety of corporate positions. From hospitality to healthcare, fine art to music production, Hennessy always brings a sense of warmth and community. Outside of work he can be found painting, composing or dancing to zydeco, bachata and Afrobeat.
Chef de Cuisine
Juan learned his love of cooking growing up in a small village in Mexico where his family grew their own foods and prepared everything from scratch. As a young man he began his culinary career at a popular chain restaurant, later coming to San Francisco and joining the krewe at Brenda’s in 2012. He quickly learned all aspects of the kitchen—was soon promoted to lead line cook and now Chef de Cuisine—perfectly executing Brenda’s recipes day after day. (And sharing his killer salsas and flans with the staff!) When he’s not at the restaurant, Juan enjoys the beautiful California wilderness, watching movies, playing with his sweet kittens and sharing delicious meals with his family.