Chef’s Spotlight - Chef Chris Barbato The Country Club

May 02, 2017
The Country Club of New Orleans is entering a new phase in their luxurious renovation. The Country Club staff has added a new member to the establishment. Chef Chris Barbato was selected to join the staff and fulfill the Club’s vision of delivering fabulous food and drinks in a stylish surrounding.

Noted Chef Barbato is a welcome addition to the organization. He is heading up the Country Club’s culinary team, revising the club’s menus, and creating new events. Barbato brings an extraordinary restaurant background to his role as the Country Club’s new culinary honcho.

Barbato grew up in a cuisine savvy family. His great Aunt Viola owned a culinary school in Baton Rouge, where he attended and graduated. He joined the New Orleans culinary scene in 1992 by working in several Brennan-family owned restaurants. As it goes in many kitchens, Barbato moved through each of the kitchen positions while progressing quickly from station to station.

For many years, he cooked under the revered, late Chef Jamie Shannon. Shannon was the executive chef of Commanders Palace, one of the city’s most highly regarded and renowned restaurants. Barbato became the Chef de Cuisine to Commander’s next executive chef, Tory McPhail, a James Beard Award Winner.

In 2011, Barbato was appointed executive chef at Café Adelaide. This is another excellent Brennan-family restaurant at the Loews Hotel in the Central Business District. He and his wife, Lisa, decided to open their own place called Revista, an Uptown café and bakery. However, the lure of going back to fine dining was too exciting to turn down.

Barbato relished the new opportunity and jumped into the fray to create a new culinary program, updating classic dishes and taking charge of the strikingly renovated dining space at the Country Club.

Chef Chris and his culinary team employ both traditional and modern techniques and methods to expertly execute dishes created with local ingredients. Most dishes and specials are connected to the ingredients seasonality for freshness and maturity. Others connect to Italian-French and Creole-Southern heritages. Barbato’s culinary mission: food and drinks thoughtfully prepared and properly served by a friendly staff in exquisitely appointed, yet comfortable dining rooms.

One of Chef Chris’ most memorable culinary travels was his first trip to Italy: “My 1st trip to Italy: Bologna was amazing. To me, Bologna is the food center of Italy - it really comes off as a city-wide pride. The Tortellini en Brodo was so good the broth was golden and crystal clear all at once. The tortellini were perfect little, hand-rolled morsels jam-packed with flavor, a little Parmesan, a little veal, a little chicken; broth finished with Parmesan skins; grilled veal livers with sweet onions and a bottle of Brunello wine – heaven. Trips like that give you a new appreciation for your craft and also your shortcomings. I love to have handmade pasta on the menu; it is my favorite thing to make. It says a lot about a restaurant having it on the menu, and it says a lot more when it is consistently good quality.”

The call to experience The Country Club & Chef Chris Barbato’s creations is catered to locals and visitors alike. “Escape the French Quarter’s hustle, bustle and jostle; take a dip, relax, beat the heat and sip a cocktail or three! And if it’s raining, it’s Happy Hour all day!”