Some Chef Switcheroos at Ashok Bajaj Restaurants

The restaurateur makes some significant personnel changes at three downtown spots.

Chef Ed Witt (seen here at Cochon 555) is out at 701. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

In his weekly chat, Tom Sietsema shared a scoop from Ashok Bajaj’s restaurant group, which includes Rasika, Rasika Westend, the Bombay Club, Bibiana, the Oval Room, 701, and Ardeo & Bardeo.

Basically it’s like this: Tony Conte, who has been helming the kitchen at the Oval Room, has been promoted to “group executive chef,” and will now also oversee matters at 701, formerly presided over by Ed Witt.

At 701, Lucas Sousa,
last of Bibiana, will be the new chef de cuisine. Meanwhile at the
Oval Room, James Barton is the new chef de cuisine. He’s also a Bibiana

So what of Ed Witt? Sietsema said Bajaj told him Witt’s
contract was coming to an end and he opted out of rehiring the chef. It remains to be seen where Witt will land next.

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