Breaking news from the Leblanc + Smith empire today, with a press release indicating that Chef Kristen Essig will depart hotspots Meauxbar and Cavan at the end of next month. On April 25, Essig will leave to pursue other endeavors, but the split appears to be amicable with Leblanc releasing a statement noting "she deserves an exit fitting of a champion."
Essig has also released a statement, including the following:
While I may not know exactly what I'm leaving to do or explore, I am most confident in
the people that will continue our hospitality vision. While I've been the executive chef of
Meauxbar and Cavan, I have only strengthened my personal vision for what true
Taking over at Cavan will be Ben Thibodeaux, current chef de cuisine. Meauxbar sous John Bel will step into the main role at the Quarter bistro.
Essig is also a partner in the pop-up Little Bird. She first joined Leblanc's restaurant group when she took over CBD gastropub Ste. Marie in 2013, receiving rave reviews, which carried over to the reopening of Meauxbar in 2014. The group's new American Coastal spot Cavan opened just a month ago.
Stay tuned for updates.