A celebrated British TV chef who was slated to open a restaurant in Hudson Yards has been nixed following accusations of sexual misconduct at his London restaurant.
Dan Doherty — who is accused of behavior like asking a female staffer for oral sex — will no longer be working with Rhubarb for a fifth floor restaurant at the Shops at Hudson Yards, the London-based catering company announced Monday morning. CEO P.B. Jacobse says in a statement that Doherty had a consultancy agreement with Rhubarb, and that it will be severed “in view of the allegations of improprieties made against Mr. Doherty.”
It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Doherty, who is one of the most well-known young chefs in the United Kingdom in part due to his role in BBC show Britain’s Best Home Cook, which he co-hosted with former Great British Bake Off presenter Mary Berry.
British newspaper The Sunday Times dropped an investigation this morning saying that Doherty was “forced to leave” his acclaimed restaurant Royal Oak Gastropub in November 2018 after an outside consultancy firm found that he was guilty of a staffer’s claim that he asked for oral sex. Employees also accused him of asking to see them without their chef’s whites.
Following the accusation, Doherty returned to work, but his responsibilities were reduced to include less interaction with junior staffers. Four people reportedly left their jobs at Royal Oak due to Doherty’s behavior, which allegedly fostered “a culture of harassment.”
Royal Oak’s company told the Sunday Times that it takes “allegations of misconduct in any form very seriously,” and that it acted on the recommendations of an independent human resources company for Doherty’s return to the restaurant.
But shortly after the publication, Doherty announced that he would leave his role on BBC show Britain’s Best Home Cook. By the afternoon, the chef tweeted “I want to say sorry. There are mistruths in what was published but I have made mistakes, mistakes I truly am sorry for.”
Update: Royal Oak announced that Doherty is no longer working at the restaurant. It’s not clear if his partnership in the restaurant remains.
The Hudson Yards restaurant would have been the first NYC project for Doherty, who was hired for an Asian-Western-fusion restaurant in the high-profile development. It was expected to open in March along with restaurants from chefs like David Chang and Thomas Keller.
Though his name was attached to the project, he was only a consultant, so Rhubarb will not be replacing him with a new name; a New York team has already been in place to operate the restaurant.
This story has been updated to reflect new information from the Rhubarb and Royal Oak teams.
- TV Chef Dan Doherty Accused of Sexual Harassment [Eater London]
- Britain’s Best Home Cook chef Dan Doherty hit by sexual harassment claims [The Sunday Times]