Alon Shaya may have officially moved on when he opened Saba, his first restaurant since his contentious split with John Besh’s restaurant group, but he still finds it challenging to even drive by his namesake restaurant Shaya, according to Fox 8 News.
Once chef-partner at Shaya, Domenica, and Pizza Domenica, Besh’s restaurant group fired Alon Shaya shortly before the Times-Picayune broke the news that Besh’s restaurant group fostered a culture that encouraged sexual harassment and assault. Alon Shaya alleges he was fired for speaking out. He fought the restaurant group over his surname, but settled the case just before Saba opened (Besh’s restaurant group will keep the name).
Describing the split as one of the most hurtful moments of his life, he also says that the whole thing was “a blessing” because it gave him and his team time to “reflect on what’s important to us.”
Alon Shaya told Eater in a recent interview that his experiences influenced several initiatives at his new restaurant. Saba administers “cultural training” for everyone in the organization, honing in on diversity in the workplace, harassment, and discrimination, in addition to offering discounted memberships to a health club, two consecutive days off for workers, and other quality-of-life benefits.
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