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Levi Raines Is Stepping Down as Bywater American Bistro Chef and Partner

The Eater Young Gun (’19) is parting ways with Nina Compton’s nationally acclaimed restaurant to pursue other opportunities

Larry Miller, Nina Compton, and Levi Raines
Denny Culbert/Eater

Levi Raines, chef and partner of New Orleans’s acclaimed Bywater American Bistro, announced Monday he was parting ways with the restaurant and fellow owners Nina Compton and Larry Miller, also owners of Compere Lapin.

In a heartfelt message posted to Instagram, Raines said he was “stepping down as chef at Bywater American Bistro to pursue other opportunities.” He said he’s spent a lot of time during the pandemic reflecting on his life and career, and that he has “so much love and passion for the hospitality community, it’s hard to imagine making a drastic change.” “However,” he added, “ I am optimistic for whatever the future may hold.”

When reached for comment, Raines told Eater he was “taking the opportunity to step back with a clean slate and make some life changes,” but declined to provide further information.

The chef and Eater Young Gun (’19) worked alongside Compton as sous chef at her nationally recognized Warehouse District restaurant Compere Lapin for three years before helping open Bywater American Bistro. It was after just one year working in the kitchen at Compere that Miller and Compton approached him about being a partner in their next project, saying at the time that they wanted to give Raines a “platform” with the restaurant. Bywater American Bistro made its highly-anticipated debut in March 2018 to both local fanfare and national critical praise.

In a statement sent to Eater, Miller and Compton said: “We have parted ways with chef Levi Raines. He has decided to explore other avenues professionally and as longtime friends and collaborators we support him. We wish him nothing but the best and hope he finds success and happiness his next chapter.”

Eater is tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on the city’s restaurant industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at nola@eater.com.

Bywater American Bistro

2900 Chartres Street, , LA 70117 (504) 605-3827 Visit Website

Bywater American Bistro (BABs)

2900 Chartres Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116 Visit Website

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