two Commander's Palace vets bringing international street food to Covington
Chefs Carl Schaubhut and Jean-Pierre Guidry met and became friends when they worked together at Commander's Palace. Schaubhut went on to be the executive chef at Cafe Adelaide, which is owned by Commander's Palace. Guidry most recently worked at John Besh's Lüke.
"We've always been friends, and we said if the opportunity came up to work together we would," Schaubhut said.
Now, the two will pair up to open their own place, Bacobar in Covington.
"We balance each other out," Schaubhut said. "We push each other in a bunch of ways."
Guidry trained at the Culinary Institute of American. His first job was with Daniel Boulud in New York. Schaubhut is self-taught.
Both of them, however, plan to explore new directions at Bacobar, where the flavors will be mainly Asian and Latino with plenty of Louisiana touches.
"Jean is a Cajun boy," Schaubhut said, "and my family is from Des Allemands and I grew up in New Orleans."
Possible menu items include kimchi debris fries, togarashi-crusted blackened fish and "bacos," or steamed buns filled with fillings like miso braised brisket, Korean fried shrimp or Thai curry chicken.
"It's food that we like to eat as chefs," Schaubhut said. "I know that's said a lot, but we're taking a step back from fine dining and having fun."
Bacobar will be casual, family friendly and have plenty of outdoor seating. The restaurant takes over the former Jerk's Island Grill.
At the bar, Bacobar will have eight local beers on tap and eight machines pouring craft frozen daiquiris.
Last year, Schaubhut, who has two young kids, was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Now, though, he's cancer free.
"I feel healthier, mentally and physically, than I ever have," Schaubhut said.
That experience, though, made him decide it was time to open his own place and to partner with his old friend Guidry.
"You never know what's around the corner," he said. "It's now or never."
The Bacobar will open in early 2016. [UPDATE: See NOLA.com observations]