— Progress report on chef Sue Zemanick’s upcoming Mid City restaurant: the James Beard award-winner has been actively tweeting photos as she renovates Rue 127, which closed in June. So, expect something that looks drastically different to that former bistro. Zemanick is known for her appearances on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters, and more recently, at Gautreau’s (until 2016, when she took a break from restaurant work). But this new project will be something she can call her own — details have been limited so far, but Nola.com indicated last week that it’ll be an “upscale neighborhood restaurant” that leans into seafood. (She’s also using the hashtag “#Sue127”: a fun possible name for the restaurant?)
— BRG (formerly the Besh Restaurant Group) has found a replacement chef at Hyatt Regency seafood restaurant Borgne. According to Nola.com, Phillip Mariano took over the burners in recent weeks, having departed his position as executive chef at Ace Hotel restaurant Josephine Estelle. It’s not Mariano’s first rodeo with BRG — he also worked at Domenica until 2016. He takes over for Brian Landry, who sold his shares in Borgne to focus on his own restaurant group for hotels, QED Hospitality, together with another former BRG exec. (All this comes almost a year after a major exposé on sexual harassment within John Besh’s restaurant group.)
— In other chef shuffles, Dan Causgrove has departed Ace Hotel restaurant Seaworthy — he was the opening executive chef for the oyster and seafood spot. The hotel has not announced a replacement, and Causgrove hasn’t indicated where he’s headed next.
— And one more line-up change: as Donald Link and his restaurant group prepare to open Italian restaurant Gianna on Magazine Street, staffing changes are in order at Link’s Central Business District original Herbsaint. David Rouse is in as chef de cuisine, according to the Advocate, moving over from another Link restaurant, Cochon. James Beard award-winner Rebecca Wilcombe vacated the position to be executive chef at Gianna when it opens.
— Lastly, a fresh take from Ian McNulty at the Advocate: he reminds us that New Orleans restaurants are special, not because its restaurants appeal to tourists, but because they appeal to locals. (After all, who else is going to support them through the quiet summer months?)
- James Beard Award-Winning Chef Sue Zemanick Is Back in the Kitchen With a Restaurant All Her Own [ENOLA]
- A new chef takes over at Borgne [Nola.com]
- Chef Brian Landry Departs Borgne, the Restaurant He Opened With John Besh [ENOLA]
- Chef Dan Causgrove leaves Seaworthy [Nola.com]
- New chef named to run Donald Link’s downtown bistro Herbsaint [Advocate]
- Ian McNulty: As New Orleans restaurants keep growing, the New Orleans part matters less [Advocate]