Skip To Content

John Besh, Restaurant King Who Fired Alon Shaya, Steps Down Amid Sex Harassment Claims

This is huge, and I almost missed it.

While out of the office today, soaking up all sorts of incredible ideas about food activism at the annual James Beard Food Summit, I got a text from the office that we were posting a piece about Alon Shaya, the James Beard Award-winning wunderkind chef who brought Israeli food to New Orleans (he’s one of 2015’s Forward 50) saying that he may have been fired by John Besh, the longstanding undisputed king of New Orleans cuisine, for speaking out about allegations that Besh — like Hollywood kingpin Harvey Weinstein — was a serial sexual harasser.

The news that Shaya had been fired — that he was no longer the chef of his wildly popular and highly acclaimed namesake restaurant — was shocking to me, and I felt paralyzed because there was no way I could stop listening to the the speakers at the James Beard conference long enough to write something up or research further.

Cut to a few hours later: I’m home after a long, fascinating day, about to have some dinner with my son, when I check my email and find out from Eater that Besh has just stepped down. I need to find out more about this crazy story. I will — and will report back shortly. But for now I just wanted you to know that Besh was out. And hopefully that means Alon Shaya is back in.

Liza Schoenfein is the food editor of the Forward. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter, @LIfeDeathDinner

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.