Adore's new series will follow the typical morning routine of a New Orleans mover and shaker.
Emery Whalen, along with her business partner Brian Landry, opened Jack Rose last Spring in the Pontchartrain Hotel (it replaced The Caribbean Room). A year and a few months later, the lively eatery received national recognition from USA Today as the Best Hotel Restaurant in the country. Jack Rose was the first property to open under Whalen and Landry's hospitality company QED, which also handles the hotel's other offerings (Hot Tin, the Bayou Bar, and the Silver Whistle Cafe).
Whalen, a native New Orleanian, has always been inspired by the city's rich culinary traditions. Her grandmother's cooking ignited a passion for food and preserving the region's indigenous culture. When she isn't floating around Jack Rose, you can find her working in the Warehouse District. To see how she starts her day, check out her morning routine below!
6:05 a.m. My alarm goes off. It’s always a song from the “Have a Great Day!” playlist on Spotify. I am a big believer in the power of music to completely change your mood, so I like opening my eyes to something upbeat. I have 10 minutes until my workout buddy (and bestie) Maggie picks me up for our morning workout, just enough time to get dressed and make my NOLA CoolBrew iced coffee. Our routine varies, but lately in preparation for her wedding, we have been upping our game with some intense Megaformer workouts at Romney Studios. We try to always work in yoga into our weekly schedule. If we are really lucky, our friend Joy is teaching one of her classes at Antigua Floral. I love starting my day with exercise; creating endorphins and getting quality time with Maggie starts the day off on the right foot.
7:45 a.m. Workout complete! Time to walk my dog, Sugar, who is patiently waiting in bed for my return. We wander around the Lower Garden District and Irish Channel. I try not to use my phone on the walk and just enjoy our morning adventure. When we get back home, I make breakfast. I usually whip up avocado toast or breakfast tacos. I love making pestos and other herb sauces, so I have a jar of something on hand to make my breakfast extra delicious. Today, it’s a jalapeno cilantro adobo sauce on my breakfast tacos, and my husband, Will, is back from the gym in time to have a plate too!
8:30 a.m. I head to my backyard to meditate for 10 minutes. I have been using the Headspace app for seven years now, and I love the sense of peace and well-being it brings me. My favorite meditation practice involves sending warmth and happiness to others, which is similar to the Buddhist practice of mind training called Lojong which cultivates joy through compassion for others. My entire morning routine is geared toward starting the day just right and setting me up for success no matter what the day brings and in the restaurant industry, it could bring just about anything, and we need all the warmth and compassion we can muster sometimes!
8:45 a.m. I get ready for work, listening to WWNO or an audiobook. I love to read fiction for pleasure so in the mornings, I’m usually bingeing on non-fiction audiobooks. This morning instead of the usual business focused audiobook, I’m revisiting an old favorite, The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. My routine is pretty minimalist: my makeup fits in a snack size Ziplock bag, and I almost always wear my hair in the same bun I started wearing 10 years ago when I was a teacher at Edna Karr. On the other hand, I take my time with my outfit. If I’m working at Jack Rose for lunch or dinner, I have to dress the part! Since opening Jack Rose, my wardrobe has definitely expanded in color and sparkle. Will has excellent taste in jewelry, so I’m usually accessorizing with something he bought me from Porter Lyons, a local jeweler who makes really unique pieces.
9:30 a.m. I have, as usual, overestimated my ability to get out of the door, so I’m hustling to grab my lunch and catch the bus. I love taking the bus downtown to our QED office - their app allows me to track the bus so I can spend the least amount of time outside in the humidity. The bus drops me off in front of the Shop at the CAC where my business partner, Brian Landry, and I have an office. I take my time to settle in, making a tea, chatting with Harrison, our assistant, and putting on a Miles Davis record from Peaches Record Store on Magazine before turning my attention to the day ahead. If I am craving a little more zen, I’ll write a thank you note to someone on my favorite Alexa Pulitzer stationery. I am an acolyte of the Getting Things Done method, so I start my workday with a review of how to best spend my time and what Brian and I need to prioritize. I lay it all out in Trello, our task management software, and then get to work! I have an hour and a half before Brian comes in and we head over to Pontchartrain for Jack Rose Friday lunch and the adventure begins!