Caitlin Carney wears many hats at Marjie's Grill, a neighborhood eatery serving "Southeastern Asian Southern Fare." She opened the restaurant with her partner Marcus Jacobs, and the cuisine—which changes daily—is inspired by the couple's travels throughout Asia and the local bounty of the Louisiana Gulf.
Caitlin serves as the front of house manager and beverage program director, and also handles all things branding (she holds a graphic design degree). She grew up in Paris, where she developed her love of food, and worked with top Nola chefs like Donald Link and Susan Spicer. (She even met Marcus while she was working at Herbsaint.) In 2019, Caitlin won a fellowship spot in the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program for her role with Marjie’s Grill.
Most of Caitlin's hours are spent at Marjie's, so she makes the most of her mornings at home with her partner, pups, and even makes time for Pilates. To see how she does it all and more, read on for her morning routine!
7 a.m. rolls around way too soon as I was probably at work until at least 9 the previous night. No need for an alarm, my eyes peep open to Roxy and Abraham, my two fluffy pups staring me down. They’re hungry! We head downstairs, I feed them their hard-earned breakfast before we go in the backyard. I assess my current physical and mental state while they roam around the yard and do their thing. Did we get our butts kicked last night? How are my feet? Did I have a glass of wine after service that is lingering in my head? These are all the things that roam my mind while waking up.
7:30 a.m. We head back upstairs to lay around with my partner Marcus for a little bit. The morning is my only time to take care of my mind and body. Once I step foot in the restaurant, I’m consumed until I’m no longer needed, which tends to be after the rush of dinner service. On my best days, I put my brightly colored gym clothes and hot pink Crocs on and head to Uncle Joe’s Pilates in the Riverbend. I spend an hour focusing on my body and only my body. On my good days, I take the dogs on a long walk on Bayou St John, thinking about how lucky I am to live in the best city and the best neighborhood. On my worst days, I watch an episode of Gilmore Girls in bed. Either way it goes, this is my time to turn my mind off from work.
10:00 a.m. I get to the restaurant between 10 and 10:30 to get everyone ready for lunch service which starts at 11 a.m. First, I check in with FOH to see if they need anything, then the kitchen for daily specials. The menu changes every day so I need to make sure everything is up to date and ready to rock. This is also my chance to get a little snack in. The kitchen fires up one of the specials for Instagram and then I get to “taste test” it.
10:30 a.m. Finally, I sit down in my office and create a plan for the day. Emails that need immediate responses take precedence then I think about the projects I’m working on and which ones I can move forward with today. We are in a constant state of growth both within Marjie’s and expanding beyond. Every day, I try to tackle a little bit of these goals whether it be our budding catering business, making Marjie’s more efficient, or building business beyond our current state. It’s an exciting time with new challenges every day.
11 a.m. Lunch service begins and I’m bopping around between guests, staff, and trying to get projects done in my office all day. From there, it’s nonstop moving until after dinner service and then back at it again the next day.