Adore's new series will follow the typical morning routine of a New Orleans mover and shaker.
When Nina Compton isn't butchering meat at Compère Lapin or finishing her nights at Bywater American Bistro, she loves to take it easy. Mornings usually start with a walk along the river and coffee with friends, followed by an easygoing afternoon. "On a day off, the ideal afternoon is lounging by the pool before heading to Bacchanal for some great wine and cheese. As a day of relaxation, it usually ends with a Margherita pizza from Pizza Delicious and chilling on the sofa with the dogs watching Forensic Files!"
Work days are a little less leisurely. On a typical day, Compton can be found balancing a long list of tasks between her two restaurants. The James Beard award winning chef shifts between meal prep and cooking (this includes making pasta by hand), and managing her staff and administrative work (emails on emails!). To see how she starts her mornings (accompanied by coffee, of course), check out her morning routine below.
8:00 a.m. Wake up and check email to read overnight reports from Compère Lapin (CL) and Bywater American Bistro (BABs). Then I go make my French press and drink it in one of the cups from my mum's china collection. Each cup is different and enjoying them as much as the coffee gets my morning off to a happy start.
8:30 a.m. Turn on reggae or something else peppy to set a pleasant tone for the day. Shower and get ready, grab a clean cook shirt and apron. I remind my husband Larry to walk the dogs, jump on my Vespa, and head to Compère Lapin. On a day off, I wake up a little later, go for a walk along the river in Crescent Park, and meet Levi Raines or Graison Gill of Bellegarde Bakery for coffee at The Orange Couch, a great coffee spot in Marigny.
9:15 a.m. Arrive at CL. BABs doesn't serve lunch, so I always start my day here. I do a quick check-in with Jeffrey who runs our coffee counter Tout La and he adds a cappuccino to my morning consumption. I review the prep lists left by the night crew and start assigning tasks.
9:30 a.m. One of my produce purveyors, Pelican Produce, is always the first to arrive so I meet her and check everything that she has brought. I check it every time even though they have never let me down with anything less than great product, but it’s a good habit to stay in and a good example for the sous chefs. Some days I'll head over to Pelican Produce, located on various lots in the Upper Ninth Ward, so I can see it all first hand and visit with Michelle Posey to show me what's new. Then I start sauce production.
9:45 a.m. Protein deliveries begin to arrive and I start butchering the meats for the day, breaking down fish, chickens, pork, or goat depending on the day.
11:15 a.m. Pre-shift meeting with the service staff.
11:30 a.m. Lunch starts and for some funny reason only about 1/4 of our lunch guests make reservations, so it’s always a bit of excitement wondering who will join us each day.
Nina Compton is one of the culinary leaders participating in the upcoming "Where Nola Eats" panel moderated by Barrie Schwartz. Tickets are available here.