By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL — The secret is out—about Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan’s brisket, that is.
OK, so the mayor hasn’t really tried to keep it such a secret, but without doubt, Drennan is well-known for his public service as a police chief and mayor, but is probably just as famous for the brisket he cooks up for dozens of charitable causes every year.
On Friday night at one of the most popular social events of the year, the Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation “Rooftop Rendezvous,” Drennan’s brisket was again featured as one of many great food offerings on the evening.
The mayor didn’t have any problem finally discussing why his brisket is continually sought for most charitable and social outings.
“What’s the secret?” he responded with a smile. “Most people use the conventional kinds of wood to smoke something like this, but I’ve experimented with many kinds of wood over the years, and I think several of the fruit woods are the best.”
Drennan said one of his favorite, which he used on Friday night, was to smoke the brisket in apple wood, which he did for over 12 hours.
“I also use Dale’s seasoning and Tony Chachere’s seasoning as my rub, and marinate the brisket overnight,” he said.
Drennan said he got interested in cooking as a young boy when his mother, Idell Drennan, thought it was important to teach all her kids about cooking, housework and doing the dishes.
When he married his wife, Cecelia, he said they “shared the cooking duties. I had my special things and she had lots of her special things.”
Drennan has been an avid hunter his entire life and never wastes a thing that he kills. One day he was pleasantly surprised to see his wife had bought him a smoker.
“I used that thing for everything—venison, antelope, elk, anything we killed, we smoked it and ate it,” he said.
The brisket started getting into the smoker as well, and after experimenting with many different marinades and woods, he settled on the thing that has made him famous in Slidell for something other than arresting people or getting buildings constructed.
For the Rooftop Rendezvous, he cooked 30 briskets, “300 pounds,” he said. “So eat up. That’s why I do it for so many events. I enjoy seeing people eat it and enjoy it.”