Son of a Saint Welcomes Chef Alon Shaya as Newest Ambassador

Thumbnail Son Of A Saint Chef Alon Shaya
L to R: Bivian Lee and Alon Shaya

NEW ORLEANS — From Son of a Saint:

Son of a Saint has announced the addition of chef and restaurateur Chef Alon Shaya to its network of organizational ambassadors. Shaya will leverage his local, regional, national and global influence to showcase, champion and advocate for the organization’s mission and its mentees. Since the beginning of his relationship with Son of a Saint, Shaya has led efforts to expand awareness and support of the organization’s mission, including hosting a ticketed dinner at Saba in the fall of 2021 that raised more than $40,000 for the organization following Hurricane Ida. Most recently, Shaya and members of the Saba and Pomegranate Hospitality staff led a hands-on workshop for Son of a Saint mentees and mentors to learn the art of making pita.

“Growing up, around the age of 10 years old, I was fortunate enough to meet a mentor by the name of Ernest Elgart, through the help of the Jewish Federation and my mother. Mr. Ernie, as I endearingly called him, went on to play an integral part in my life and I came to see him as both a close confidant and also a father figure when I needed it,” said Shaya. “Just as Mr. Ernie never forgot or gave up on me, I recognize the similar ways in which Son of a Saint aims to provide the same long-term, family-like mentoring relationships to the young men in its program. This commonality is what led me to deepen my support of this organization and see its impact grow stronger and further transform lives in our community. I am thrilled and honored to take on the role of Ambassador for Son of a Saint.”

Shaya is the multiple James Beard Foundation award-winning, Chef-Partner of Pomegranate Hospitality, which includes Saba in New Orleans, Safta in Denver, and both Miss River and Chandelier Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. Born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and a proud New Orleanian, Shaya continues to share his love and appreciation for food and the singular way restaurants anchor their communities.

In addition to his multiple James Beard Foundation awards, Shaya was also named “Best Chef, South” in 2015, and his restaurant won “Best New Restaurant” the following year. He was named one of the “50 People Who Are Changing the South” by Southern Living and one of the “50 Most Influential Jews in America” by The Forward. Shaya is also the author of Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel, which is part memoir-part cookbook, and shares Alon’s deeply personal journey of survival and discovery, exploring the evolution of a cuisine and the transformative power and magic of food and cooking.

“We’re excited and beyond grateful to have Chef Alon join our cohort of Ambassadors,” said Son of a Saint Founder + CEO Bivian “Sonny” Lee III. “Our organization continues to be amazed by the dynamic cross section of leaders, changemakers, communities, and cultures that come together to wrap their arms around our mission and uplift our boys in so many ways. Chef Alon’s deepened involvement is yet another example of investing in the future of New Orleans, together.”

Since its inception in 2011, Son of a Saint has increased its mentee participants from 10 boys to now include 200 young men across Greater New Orleans. That constitutes a twentyfold increase in its 11 years of existence. As Son of a Saint continues the crucial work of mentoring and enhancing the lives of fatherless young men in the New Orleans area, the organization is poised to add more programs, more mentors and more boys to its cause. Son of a Saint holistically supports young men between the ages of 10 and 21, providing them with mentorship, education, mental health services and travel experiences, as well as internship and service-learning opportunities.

For more information about the organization, including programming, enrichment activities, leadership profiles and opportunities to get involved, visit or call (504) 561-7508. Son of a Saint also welcomes contributions or other donations, which can be mailed to P.O. Box 19205, New Orleans, LA 70179. Follow Son of a Saint on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter via @sonofasaintorg for live updates about the organization and its participants.

Categories: Dining/Entertainment, Food, Nonprofit, Today’s Business News