Big E, Big Problems

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Chef Eric Austin, formerly of Big E's Soul Food and the New Big E's Soul Food has been troubled by business partnerships in the past, having dissolved a couple of them in about as many years.


A reader tipped me off to this new message on the Bourbon Street website. Instead of promoting the restaurant's New Orleans menu and historic digs, as it previously did, the site now looks like its content has been hijacked by Austin to let customers know that he's no longer in the kitchen and what he thinks of the situation. In case Bourbon Street takes the page down by the time you read this, here's a screen shot:

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Austin explains his side of the story related to the breakups of his previous business partnerships on his blog, and he discusses the Bourbon Street situation there as well. Fans of Austin's food may be wondering: Is E continually getting screwed by shady business partners, or, as Austin's arrest records suggest, might the chef be to blame as well?

An April 21, 2005 report lists that Austin was charged with Assault 2 for entering Big E's Soul Food and assaulting his previous business partner Ibrahim Elsabee, and threatening him with a large butcher knife.

An April 29, 2005 report shows Austin was arrested outside Big E's Soul Food and charged with violating a restraining order Elsabee had filed against him.

An April 27, 2006 record reports that Austin was arrested and charged with Assault 5 for punching his previous business partner, Kevin James, and James' girlfriend at the Market Barbeque on Nicollet.



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