Via a statement, a rep for Zengo confirms that Akhtar Nawab, who was originally said to be hired as chef de cuisine (as odd as it sounded at the time), is on his way out, though we’ve still been unable to confirm rumors that he’s headed for a certain downtown Mexican hot spot (presumably La Esquina). Here’s the official word:
With the opening of Zengo, 622 Third Avenue, Chef Akhtar Nawab is wrapping up his work with Chef-Owner Richard Sandoval. As part of Chef Sandoval's culinary team Ahktar, along with Corporate Chef John Calloway, Chef de Cuisine Adan Trinidad and Chef de Cuisine
Graham Bartlett, helped bring Chef Sandoval's Latin-Asian cuisine to New York City. Akhtar says, "It's been great collaborating with Richard. I am thrilled with the successful opening and I wish the entire team the best."
Says Chef Sandoval, "Akhtar offered unique insights and contributions throughout the opening of Zengo. Our culinary team has been able to deliver a restaurant I am very proud of. We all wish Akhtar good fortune as he takes on new challenges."