Chris Lynch is leaving Atchafalaya to work directly under Tory McPhail as chef de cuisine at Commander’s Palace, reports Todd Price. He told Price that, at 43, “I feel like I still have things to learn and do." His last day is March 29. Atchafalaya owners Tony Tocco and Rachael Jaffe Tocco have not yet named his replacement.
After working for several years in the top position at Emeril's, Lynch moved on to the ill-fated Meson 923 and then to Jimmy J’s Cafe. He took over the kitchen at Atchafalaya in 2013, where he “established a culinary style for the modern Atchafalaya that mixes contemporary Creole fundamentals, Mediterranean balance, and dashes of global flavor,” reports Ian McNulty. He gained a large following, many of whom have been packing the restaurant for one final meal there under Lynch.
Rachael Jaffe Tocco and Tony Tocco took over as owners of Atchafalaya in 2008. Changing the menu, making the restaurant more upscale, and adding live music to the mix were some of the things that put Atchafalaya on the map under their leadership. They are taking their time finding the right person to replace Chris Lynch.