Sexual Harassment Allegations Cloud Over Danny Meyer's Restaurant Group

Sexual Harassment Allegations Cloud Over Danny Meyer's Restaurant Group

There are reports denouncing Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group for not properly addressing dozens of employee complaints involving sexual harassment.

The incidents involved a couple of chefs including, Eric Korsh, the former North End Grill executive chef and Junsoo Bae the former Gramercy Tavern sous chef.

Soon after Korsh took on the position in 2014, there were instances when he allegedly made inappropriate comments about female customers that he found attractive, gave unwelcomed massages to female employees, and, in various occasions, lost his temper at the restaurant staff. Additionally, as far as Bae is concerned, the sous chef allegedly groped a server at a company party, according to “Eater.”

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Chef John Besh Steps Down After Alleged Sexual Harassment Claims at his Restaurant Group

Source: www.chefjohnbesh.com/about/

Source: www.chefjohnbesh.com/about/

Chef John Besh’s restaurant group is under scrutiny due to sexual harassment claims by 25 female workers.

Today, in an email from Shannon White, now the CEO of Besh Restaurant Group (BRG), it was announced Besh is "stepping down" to focus fully on his family, according to “The New York Times.”

Besh, known for promoting New Orleans cuisine through his twelve acclaimed restaurants, is making headlines for what many current and former BRG employees claim is a “bro culture” throughout the organization.

Nine woman agreed to have their names published and go on the record declaring that they were victims of sexual harassment while working for BRG, according to an investigation by "NOLA.com" and "The Times-Picayune” released over the weekend.

In a complaint filed by Lindsey Reynolds, with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company’s former social media manager said "vulgar and offensive comments, aggressive unwelcomed touching and sexual advances were condoned and sometimes even encouraged by managers and supervisors" at BRG.

According to “NOLA.com" and "The Times-Picayune,” Reynolds “resigned in February because the "rampant sexual misbehavior and harassment by the owners and managers of BRG had become unbearable," her complaint said. "There was no human resources person available, only other supervisors who were either afraid of losing their jobs or saw no benefit in challenging the good old boys club."

Reynolds claims are just one example of numerous other testimonies made by other women.

"We have learned recently that a number of women in our company feel that we have not had a clear mechanism in place to allow them to voice concerns about receiving the respect they deserve on the job. I want to assure all of our employees that if even a single person feels this way, it is one person too many and that ends now,” said Raymond Landry, BRG’s General Counsel, in a statement.

It turns out it wasn’t until earlier this month that BRG hired a director of human resources to provide the proper support to process such sexual harassment claims, said a company’s spokesman.

In a separate statement, Besh expressed his regret to having a consensual affair with a female employee and his plans to rebuild his marriage. "I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings. This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted, let alone a husband and father. But it should not taint our incredible team of more than 1,000 employees, nor undermine our unyielding commitment to treating everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of gender, race, age and sexual preference," said Besh.

There are other allegations tied to other executives like Octavio Mantilla, co-owner of BRG.

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NOLA Israeli Restaurant Named Restaurant of the Year

Shaya Restaurant  | Yelp, Dmitry B.

Shaya Restaurant | Yelp, Dmitry B.

Israeli New Orleans restaurant Shaya was recently named Restaurant of the Year by the food website The Daily Meal. Shaya was begun by Israeli-American Alon Shaya in partnership with renowned NOLA chef John Besh. Launched in early February, the restaurant serves modern Israeli style cuisine, featuring a number of favorite dishes such as fried cauliflower with caramelized onions as well as avocado on rye bread with whitefish.

"[Shaya is] a sleeper hit from two of America’s very best chefs, a delicious education of the American palate from masters who have demonstrated that they know it well,” stated The Daily Meal. Read More