Longtime Brennan’s executive chef makes move to Astros owner’s new restaurants

Danny Trace is the new executive chef at Potente and Osso & Kristalla. Courtesy photo

In the latest edition of “Where is the Houston chef now?” former longtime Brennan’s executive chef Danny Trace has been named the new executive chef at Astros owner Jim Crane’s two new downtown restaurants.

Trace will head the culinary operations at Potente and Osso & Kristalla, both located at 1515 Texas Avenue, near Minute Maid Park, where the American League West-leading Houston Astros play.

Trace replaces executive chef Michael Parker, who will continue to oversee Crane’s culinary operations in Florida. Parker was instrumental in hiring Trace, according to a press release about the change.

Trace left Brennan’s in late March after working for the Brennan family for 20 years, first at Commander’s Palace and then in Houston when the iconic restaurant reopened in 2010 after being damaged during Hurricane Ike.

Trace said he learned about cooking from his Italian grandmother and Cajun grandfather while growing up in Louisiana. “From étouffée to grand bowls of pasta, the marriage of these traditional dishes and family experiences is the very reason I am a chef. I look forward to returning to my Italian roots at Potente and Osso & Kristalla,” Trace said in the release.

His hiring caps a flurry of restaurant changes in Houston. Earlier this week​ former Killen’s Steakhouse executive chef Joe Cervantez was named the new executive chef at Brennan’s to fill the role vacated by Trace. Prior to joining Killen’s, Cervantez worked at Brennan’s under Trace.

Killen’s Steakhouse chef-owner Ronnie Killen hired Steve Haug, recently of Jade Hospitality (Grazia Italian Kitchen, Peska) to replace Cervantez in the lead role at his popular Pearland restaurant.

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