The son of Annandale, Virginia, restaurateurs, Terrance Brennan has risen steadily to become one of America’s most regarded and renowned chef and restaurateur.
Terrance cites several key experiences that have elevated him to Master Chef prominence. One of the most notable was his work at the famed Le Cirque restaurant in New York. “It was very intense, it was like Haute Cuisine Boot Camp,” he explains, “and the experience was immeasurable.” He also honed his talents and skills in many of Europe’s finest Michelin starred restaurants. “My training in Europe was a self-imposed apprenticeship,” he says, “which I really consider as my finishing school.” A defining moment for Terrance came while working under Chef Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins in the south of France, where he was inspired by the region’s “cuisine of the sun.” Here, his signature style began to emerge.
Terrance took his craft back to the states, specializing in Mediterranean-inspired American cuisine. In 1993, he opened his first restaurant, Picholine, which he named after the petite green olives indigenous to the Mediterranean. The restaurant quickly became a premier dining destination, earning three stars from The New York Times, four stars from New York Magazine, as well as two stars in the Michelin Guide. Such recognition catapulted Terrance’s career and in 1995 he was awarded Best New Chef in Food & Wine Magazine.
Terrance’s strong passion for artisanal cheeses prompted him to use Picholine as a launching pad for the presentation of the traditional European cheese course. Today Picholine continues to be applauded by gastronomes throughout the world. Terrance extended his groundbreaking cheese service in 2001 with Artisanal, a bistro-fromagerie-wine bar that gained immediate prominence as a shrine to the pleasures of fine cheeses. Terrance then paid the ultimate "homage to the fromage" in the spring of 2003 when he launched the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center - a 10,000 square-foot facility dedicated to the selection, maturation and distribution of the world's finest artisanal cheeses.
Terrance strives for excellence everyday while bringing passion, creativity and enthusiasm to every project. He explains, “I’m a perpetual student of the restaurant and hospitality industry. I can honestly say that after 35 years, I become more and more passionate each day. I’m now looking to share my expertise with other companies and entrepreneurs.” In addition to bringing his vast knowledge to such notable companies as Fresh Direct, Starbucks, William Sonoma, Neman Marcus, Sherry Lehmann, British Airways and Air France, Terrance is now available as an industry consultant.
Terrance is a frequent guest on the "Today" show and has also appeared on PBS, The Food Network, Martha Stewart Living Television, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” "CBS Morning News," "The Early Show" and "Live with Regis and Kelly." In addition, Terrance is the author of “Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home” (Wiley, 2005).
Terrance is also the proud holder of the Guinness World Record for the Worlds Largest Fondue. Created on the “Today” show, the one-ton creation helped serve 5,000 meals for the local charity City Harvest.