Adore's new series will follow the typical morning routine of a New Orleans mover and shaker.
Amy Mehrtens doesn't describe herself as a morning person, but she sure knows how to get things done. As Copper Vine's chef de cuisine, Mehrtens commands the kitchen from the start of the day until late evening.
Mehrtens' love of cooking and cuisine began at an early age (her mother was a chef); she chose the same route and now has over 10 years of experience in the service industry, including sous chef at Commander's Palace and interim executive chef at Café Adelaide (now closed). She's also a certified introductory sommelier. When she isn't at Copper Vine, you can find her traveling to new countries and learning about other regions, cultures, and cuisines.
To see how Mehrtens starts her day, read her efficient morning routine below!
5:45 a.m. In order to wake up this early, I try to be in bed before 10 p.m. Sometimes I don’t even leave the restaurant until then, so this is my daily challenge. I am not a morning person but find so much more time for myself when I stay in this routine. The key is to get enough sleep and wake up early. I do a five minute awareness meditation. I focus on my body, how I am feeling, what the air feels like on my skin. Then I turn on some music that I can sing along to. The playlist changes everyday. Last week I listened to Arctic Monkeys, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, David Bowie, and Alanis Morissette. Then I hop in the shower and as soon as I get out, I moisturize and protect myself from the sun using my Andalou Daily Shade.
6:05 a.m. I drink a big glass of water to rehydrate and take my fish oil and multivitamin. Then I put on some yoga gear and move my body for 15-20 minutes. If I have time before work or if I’m off for the day, I will go to Wild Lotus Yoga Studio.
6:25 a.m. I make some tea and grab my journal. First, I write things I’m grateful for. Then I write my dreams as if they have already happened and who I want to spend extra time with today. I am a big fan of the Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal and Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Planner. I use one for personal planning and one for professional planning. This practice keeps me in a growth mindset and helps me to pay attention to what my goals are.
6:40 a.m. It’s time to get ready for work. I get dressed in whatever I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s a chef coat, other times it’s a collared shirt. I try to mix it up. I grab my apron, Kotetsu Bunka (my go-to knife) and Danskos and I’m off. I usually listen to podcasts in the morning on my way to work. I love Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina, NP, MPH. She is so empowering! On the weekends, I ride my bike to work to get some extra exercise in.
7:15ish a.m. I arrive at Copper Vine. The first thing I do is make a cup of coffee with French Truck coffee beans and walk around the restaurant to say good morning to the space. I feel like this building is so old that it holds onto energy like a sponge. The more positive energy the better. It’s so quiet and no one is here. This is my favorite part of the day. Then I make my list for the day. I lay out a game plan. Who’s working? What can we improve? What do we need? I catch up on administrative work in the early hours.
8:00 a.m. Cooks arrive to set up the kitchen. We do a quick get together to discuss what’s ahead for the day. I assign them projects and check over stations.
10:30 a.m. Family meal for the staff. We put out meals for the staff twice a day. A well-fed staff is a happy staff!
10:45 a.m. Pre-shift with the front of house. We go over reservations, daily changes, menu changes, private events and housekeeping.
11 a.m. Lunch service begins and we do our thing.