Chef John Besh steps down from restaurant company amid sexual misconduct allegations
NEW ORLEANS - Chef John Besh will step down from the restaurant group he created amid allegations that several female employees were sexually harassed while working for the Besh restaurant group.
According to a report from the Advocate, Besh announced his exit Monday morning. In a letter to restaurant company staff, executive Shannon White announced that Besh “has decided to step down from all aspects of operations and to provide his full focus on this family.”
White, who was previously chief operations officer, announced in the same letter that she has assumed the role of chief executive officer.
The change comes after an investigative report published over the weekend by nola.com.
The report detailed allegations of sexual misconduct from top-level employees, including renowned Chef John Besh and those further down the line that made working conditions for some female employees untenable.
In the wake of the report, Harrah's Casino says it has stripped Besh's name from its restaurant.
“The Harrah’s New Orleans management team takes the harassment allegations against the Besh Restaurant Group very seriously and to the best of our knowledge none of those allegations pertain to Besh Steak located in the Harrah’s New Orleans Casino,” General Manager David Real wrote in a statement. “It is important to note that the restaurant employees work for and are managed by Harrah’s New Orleans, not the Besh Restaurant Group. Harrah’s New Orleans maintains a robust human resources department and processes, including a toll-free anonymous ethics and compliance hotline which allows employees to report concerns and allegations.”
Besh owns and operates a number of restaurants in the New Orleans area including:
Pigeon and Prince
The Caribbean Room
The Silver Whistle Cafe