Shaya now has a new James Beard award-winning chef leading its kitchen: Zachary Engel, who won the Rising Star Chef Award while he was chef de cuisine at Shaya, has taken over Alon Shaya’s spot as executive chef. Michael Wilson has been promoted to executive chef position and Domenica and Pizza Domenica, according to a report by Brett Anderson. Shaya is the Israeli restaurant named for Shaya, while Domenica is the restaurant that won him his first James Beard Award in 2015.
Shaya previously held the position at all three restaurants and this is the latest development in the unfolding story of the split between superstar chefs John Besh and Shaya. Beyond that, both parties are being tight-lipped about what’s going on. The Besh Restaurant Group won’t comment on the ownership structures of the three restaurants, but Shaya pointed out to Anderson that he has an ownership stake in all three. The Besh Restaurant Group says Domenica and Pizza Domenica are not part of the “ongoing negotiations.” On Monday, Shaya said that he was in negotiations to purchase Shaya, but by Tuesday he had nothing more to say about it.
Shaya says he is proud of the promoted chefs, who have been running the kitchens at the restaurants for several years now.