Alon Shaya, former chef-partner at Shaya Restaurant and current chef-owner at Saba, has been tapped to head up the main restaurant in New Orleans’s forthcoming Four Seasons hotel. It will be the chef’s third restaurant with his Pomegranate Hospitality group, developed following the end of his partnership with BRG Hospitality (formerly Besh Restaurant Group).
The Four Seasons hotel group first announced it was developing a New Orleans location in late 2019, garnering much speculation over its plans for food and beverage. This week, the hotel announced that Pomegranate Hospitality will manage the hotel’s “signature” restaurant and the lobby bar — plans for the hotel’s other restaurants and bars, including one poolside, have not been announced.
A press release says the as-yet named, street-level restaurant will offer “lighter takes on traditional New Orleans dishes,” featuring ingredients “locally and thoughtfully sourced from Shaya’s extensive network of fishermen, farmers, and other purveyors.” The “extensive” bar program will feature a “deep” cellar with Old World and New World wines — so basically, details are still scarce.
Shaya was born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and moved to New Orleans in 2003. He began his career locally with the former John Besh restaurant group at Domenica and Pizza Domenica, and then helped open Shaya, where he was known for intricate salatim — salads, dips, and multiple topped hummus varieties — and “steamy and plush” pita. In 2017, a year after Shaya was named best new restaurant by the James Beard Awards, he and BRG Hospitality parted ways. Shortly after his departure, the Times-Picayune broke the news that Besh’s restaurant group fostered a culture that encouraged sexual harassment and assault. Shaya later said he was fired for speaking to a reporter about the harassment allegations, and fought the restaurant group over his surname. He eventually settled the case just before Saba opened (Besh’s restaurant group kept the name).
Chef Shaya’s Four Seasons restaurant and bar is set to open along with the 341-room hotel in New Orleans in 2021.
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- Chef Alon Shaya Steps Out on His Own With New Company [ENOLA]
- Besh Restaurant Group Is Now Called BRG Hospitality [ENOLA]
- Alon Shaya Says Besh Restaurant Group Fired Him for Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment Allegations [ENOLA]
- Alon Shaya Sues For Rights to His Name, But Drops Plans to Purchase Shaya Restaurant [ENOLA]
- John Besh and Alon Shaya Settle Their Legal Dispute Over Shaya Name [ENOLA]