“We’re about eating, drinking, and carrying on,” said Chef Carl Schaubhut as we munched on Shrimp and Tasso Corndogs and sipped Adelaide Swizzles during Friday Happy Hour. In addition to being a gracious host and entertaining drinking buddy, Chef Carl is the brand new Executive Chef at Cafe Adelaide.
After a stint at Commander’s Palace under Tory McPhail and helping to open the restaurant Fire, first in New Orleans and then in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, Chef Carl was promoted to his current position at Cafe Adelaide. A self-taught chef, Carl attributes much of his cooking style and know-how to his family background.
“I’m a South Louisiana mutt,” Carl said. “My dad’s family is Cajun, German, and French, and my great-grandfather was a Sicilian immigrant and strawberry farmer. I come from a mix of cultures that all value the meal experience.”
When I asked Carl about his favorite aspects of his new job, he told me he enjoyed a lot of freedom to explore. “I recreated the menus my first week on the job,” he said. “At Cafe Adelaide, we view both food and drink as part of the overall dining experience, and we really emphasize cocktail pairings.”
Lu Brow, the Bar Chef at Cafe Adelaide, is not only Chef Carl’s good friend, but the two also work very closely to develop complimentary cocktail and food menus. “Lu and I have a real connection,” Chef Carl said. “She comes with me to the market and we choose ingredients together. We discuss menus every single day.”
I asked Carl how visitors to Cafe Adelaide could best experience the cocktail/food collaboration. “We do cocktail-paired brunches,” he said. “And we have a cocktail club for real enthusiasts!” Carl and Lou also want to invite everyone to Cafe Adelaide’s weekly Top Chef Viewing Party. “I really think Top Chef has done a great job of exploring what’s unique and indigenous about New Orleans,” Carl said.
For more information on special events at Cafe Adelaide, visit their Special Events web page.
20 Questions with Chef Carl Schaubhut
1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?
My father, who also happens to be named Carl. He was born and raised here in New Orleans and knows everything about this city. His family is from Des Allemands – so he is German and French. That background has influenced my cooking style.
2. What first brought you to New Orleans?
I was born here – in Lakeside Hospital.
3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?
Uptown by Audubon Park. I lived there for a couple of years in my early 20s, and there were some great bars in walking distance from my house. That area feels to me like ‘the real New Orleans.’
4. City Park or Audubon Park?
5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.
A degustation at Restaurant August, when my friend was getting married.
6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
Commander’s Palace Jazz Brunch. My family used to go for special occasions, and it is one of the first memories I have of being blown away by food.
7. What’s your favorite po-boy? Where do you go to get it?
I love Domilise’s, and I’ll give you a little insiders tip: order a po-boy with fried oysters, horse radish, swiss cheese, and roast beef gravy.
8. You’ve got friends visiting and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?
We’d take the streetcar up Canal Street and over to Carrollton Avenue, stopping at Oak Street. I really love taking the streetcar through some of New Orleans’ hidden neighborhoods, and Oak Street is one of the best places to do New Orleans like a local! We’d get a watermelon mojito at Jacques-Imos, something to eat at Tru-Burger, wine from Oak Wine Bar, and finish up at The Maple Leaf for some live music.
9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?
10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail and where do you go to get it?
I have to say that I love the Swizzle Stick Bar! Lu is my good friend and coworker, but man can she make a drink! I have two favorites: a Whiskey Smash and a Blackberry Bramble, made from gin, blackberry liquor and a whole lemon peel.
11. Snoball or Daiquiri? Where from and what flavor?
Hansen’s Sno Bliz is always worth the wait. I get the satsuma snoball.
12. Best spot to see live music?
13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?
14. Favorite New Orleans Festival?
I really like the direction Hogs for the Cause is taking. I had a team competing last year and we had a blast!
15. Favorite Mardi Gras parade?
Bacchus has always been my parade.
16. Where do you shop in New Orleans?
I like Dorignac’s – their wine and beer selection is awesome. For clothes, I like Perlis, and my wife loves all the little shops on Magazine Street. You can also always find some cool gear at Fleurty Girl and Dirty Coast.
17. What is your favorite New Orleans Museum?
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is so unique, and they are in a great up-and-coming part of town.
18. Where do you go to watch the Saints Play?
Doesn’t matter exactly where, as long as I’m with my family and have a Bloody Mary in hand.
19. Describe New Orleans in one word.
I’d say, real. The people here are not putting on an act. Their hospitality and pride for their city is 100% the real thing.
20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans?
I lived in Florida for four and a half years, and during that time, I came back to New Orleans as much as I could. I would usually drive into the city at night, so I could see the skyline and the Crescent City Connection. Seeing the lights of New Orleans just gave me this rush, and I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. I remember I would always be thinking about where I was going to eat that night!