A terse message came to the Grub Street in-box today that ran as follows: "On the heels of Marcus Samuelsson leaving Merkato 55…ANGELO SOSA named CHEF of Merkato 55 effective immediately. His first day was 8/7/08." Sosa is best known in restaurant circles for his work at the ambitious West Village Chinese restaurant Yumcha, where he was said to have led a staff mutiny, and also for his work in assisting Michael Schulson in starting up Buddakan. Since he’s not the first guy we would consider to head an African restaurant, maybe Merkato is planning on changing its format. We’ll try to find out later today.
Update: Sosa’s "people" have called Eater, who reported the story earlier today as well, to clarify that he is not the chef, but rather just consulting: Sosa is "working with the Merkato team on another project, and has been kind enough to help them sort out the menu at Merkato, too."