Chef Baruch Rabasa has left Meson 923 (923 S. Peters St., 523-9200) and will begin next week as the new chef at Atchafalaya (901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626; www.cafeatchafalaya.com).
He's the second chef to depart Meson 923 since it opened in March 2010. Its original chef, Emeril's alum Chris Lynch, left in October 2010 and Rabasa, who had been his sous chef, then took the reins.
Meson 923 has been closed for the past two weeks. A spokesperson for Meson 923 says the restaurant is working on plans for a new chef.
Tony Tocco, owner of Atchafalaya, says his former chef Mark Springfloat left to join the local company Pigeon Caterers. Rabasa's international, modern cuisine at Meson 923 was markedly different from the upscale Creole neighborhood style at Atchafalaya. Tocco says that while Rabasa will bring a new influence Atchafalaya will still retain its current style and some of its more popular dishes.
"Baruch is bringing more sophistication to the menu here, but really we have to hang on to the things that brought us to the dance in the first place," Tocco says.
He says Atchafalaya's New Year's Eve menu will showcase some of what is in store.