Kristen Essig is leaving her post as executive chef at both Meauxbar (942 N. Rampart St., 504-569-9799; www.meauxbar.com) and the recently opened Cavan (3607 Magazine St., 504-509-7655; www.cavannola.com), the LeBlanc + Smith (www.leblancandsmith.com) restaurant group said Mar. 30.
Founder Robert LeBlanc made the announcement to the company's employees in an open letter, according to a press release.
Cavan, a coastal-themed restaurant, opened last month with Essig at the helm. Cavan's chef de cuisine Ben Thibodeaux will take over as executive chef, the company said. At French Quarter bistro Meauxbar, which reopened under LeBlanc +Smith's ownership in 2014, sous chef John Bel will take over Essig's position.
Little Bird, the Southern-inspired small plates pop-up at whiskey bar Barrel Proof (1201 Magazine St.; www.barrelproofnola.com), also a LeBlanc + Smith property, will continue to run under Essig and her partner, Coquette chef Michael Stoltzfus. — HELEN FREUND