Embattled chef John Besh has been replaced with Amanda Freitag as co-host of a high-dollar dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami.
A South Beach Wine & Food Festival rep had previously said that John Besh’s sold-out dinner at the event, which he was co-hosting with Food Network star Scott Conant, would go on despite the many sexual harassment allegations against the Besh Restaurant Group. That is no longer the case. Freitag, a close friend of Conant’s and a fellow judge on the Food Network’s Chopped, will take over as Conant’s co-host for the Scarpetta Miami dinner, Liz Pierson, PR rep for Scott Conant, told Eater NOLA in an email. The festival is in the process of updating the promotional materials with the change.
Though a spokesperson for the festival had previously told the Miami Herald that she did not expect the sexual harassment allegations to affect Besh’s dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, dinner co-host Conant had told Grub Street that he was actively looking for a replacement.
Since then, Besh resigned from the company he created 12 years ago. Companies have been rushing to sever ties with the embattled Besh Restaurant Group and its branches. Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans dropped the Besh name from its restaurant, Besh Steak.