Chef Besh Exits Restaurant Group He Co-Founded As Multiple Sexual Harassment Allegations Come To A Boil

NEW ORLEANS – Amid the fallout of an eight-month investigation led by | The Times-Picayune’s Brett Anderson, where 25 current and former Besh Restaurant Group employees alleged sexual misconduct, James Beard-award winning Chef John Besh, co-founder of the company, announced he was stepping down today.

         Via email, Chef Besh alerted his staff of his departure from “all aspects” of the operations and his intention to focus on his family.
 | The Times-Picayune is reporting the company name is currently remaining the Besh Restaurant Group.

         Harrah’s New Orleans announced Sunday the casino was “severing ties” with the Besh Restaurant Group. The casino has housed Besh Steak since 2003.
 | The Times-Picayune’s Todd A. Price reports the steak house, located off the main casino floor, will remain and soon have a new name.

         The Besh Restaurant Group currently employs more than 1,200 and owns and operates 14 restaurants and venues including Restaurant August, Domenica, Luke, Willa Jean and James Beard-award winning Shaya.

         James Beard-award winning Chef Alon Shaya, who recently dissolved his dealings with the Besh Restaurant Group that is suing Chef Shaya in a trademark dispute over the Shaya restaurant name, said in a Facebook post he was fired from the company in September for supporting the sexual misconduct accusers and talking to | The Times-Picayune about the simmering controversy.

         About the trademark dispute, Shaya released a statement saying, “I'm shocked and saddened that my former partners would take such as action. Shaya is not just the name on the front door. It is my culinary and family heritage and a culmination of my life's work. The recipes and experiences that make Shaya restaurant so unique come from my mother and grandmother and a deep tradition of Israeli cooking and hospitality. The idea that they would claim that history as a matter of commerce and trademark is deeply disturbing and I will fight to protect my family name and heritage.”

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