New Orleans steakhouse named after John Besh changes name

Besh Steak has been renamed BH Steak, following sexual harassment allegations that have emerged against its celebrity chef namesake. 

The name change at the steakhouse in Harrah's New Orleans Casino on Wednesday comes a week after the casino broke ties with celebrity chef John Besh. 

The name BH Steak honors William 'Bill' Harrah, who founded the Harrah's gambling empire in the 1930s. 

The claims against Besh emerged in an investigative story by The Times-Picayune about allegations of sexual harassment involving women who said they were victims of sexual harassment by male co-workers and bosses in the Besh Restaurant Group. 

Besh stepped down from his management role in the business after the story was published.

Besh Steak has been renamed BH Steak, following sexual harassment allegations that have emerged against its namesake, celebrity chef John Besh (pictured)

Besh Steak has been renamed BH Steak, following sexual harassment allegations that have emerged against its namesake, celebrity chef John Besh (pictured)

The name change at the steakhouse in Harrah's New Orleans Casino (pictured) on Wednesday comes a week after the casino broke ties with celebrity chef John Besh

The name change at the steakhouse in Harrah's New Orleans Casino (pictured) on Wednesday comes a week after the casino broke ties with celebrity chef John Besh

Last week, Besh was spotted out with his wife for the first time after he stepped down from his restaurant company amid the allegations.

The 49-year-old, who is best known for his appearance on Top Chef, stepped out with his wife Jenifer near their home in Slidell, Mississippi on Tuesday.

The couple, who have been married 26 years, were both wearing their rings as Besh was pictured behind the wheel of their car. 

Besh's departure from the business he co-owns was announced to employees in an email on October 23.

'John has decided to step down from all aspects of operations and to provide his full focus on his family,' Shannon White, the woman who is stepping in as CEO, said in an email to staff.   

Celebrity chef John Besh has been spotted out for the first time with his wife Jenifer after he stepped down from his restaurant company amid sexual harassment allegations

Celebrity chef John Besh has been spotted out for the first time with his wife Jenifer after he stepped down from his restaurant company amid sexual harassment allegations

Women interviewed in the newspaper investigation said male bosses in the Besh Restaurant Group touched or verbally harassed them and, in a few cases, tried to leverage positions of authority for sex.

The most shocking claim came from a former employee who said Besh 'insisted (she) drink heavily' in 2015 before he approached her in her hotel room, when she was 'easily overwhelmed', and performed oral sex on her.  

Besh, who has been married to his wife since 1991, acknowledged a sexual relationship with an employee saying in a statement that it was consensual, despite the woman's assertions in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she felt pressured. 

The New Orleans chef (pictured above on Tuesday) stepped down from the restaurant group that bears his name on Monday

The New Orleans chef (pictured above on Tuesday) stepped down from the restaurant group that bears his name on Monday

The woman alleges that she had a sexual relationship with Besh for months while working under him, and that he had 'continued to attempt to coerce (her) to submit to his sexual overtures.' 

The 2015 alleged incident, which occurred when she was 24, came around the beginning of what she described as a 'long-term unwelcome sexual relationship' that ended in May 2016.

Besh denies all claims of sexual harassment and allowing a toxic work environment.

Responding to the allegations on Sunday, Besh characterized his relationship with the woman as a 'consensual' one that he had 'thoughtlessly' engaged in.

Besh is alleged to have pressured a woman into a relationship, during which he performed oral sex on her while she was blackout drunk. Besh says their relationship was consensual and denies all abuse claims

Besh is alleged to have pressured a woman into a relationship, during which he performed oral sex on her while she was blackout drunk. Besh says their relationship was consensual and denies all abuse claims

'I also regret any harm this may have caused to my second family at the restaurant group, and sincerely apologize to anyone past and present who has worked for me who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do,' he said.

'I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings. This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted, let alone a husband and father.' 

Besh's resignation letter does not say what he will do with his ownership stake in the restaurant group, or whether his name will remain in its title.

Besh Restaurant Group owns more than 10 restaurants and bars in the New Orleans area, and Besh himself has made guest appearances on several shows, including Tonight With Seth Meyers and the dramas NCIS: New Orleans and Treme.

An outside expert has now been hired to 'independently investigate whether any unreported claims exist.'

Replacement CEO Shannon White said that 'ramped up' sexual harassment training was now in place, a complaint hotline and counselors were being brought in and the sexual harassment policy was being revised.

White also announced the formation of an employee advisory committee that will 'reflect the full diversity of our team members.' 

'Our goal is to earn your trust and for you to know that we take all concerns seriously,' she wrote in an email to the staff. 

John Besh (pictured here as a guest judge on Top Chef with Padma Lakshmi) has quit Besh Restaurant Group after claims that he performed oral sex on a drunk woman and presided over a toxic workplace

John Besh (pictured here as a guest judge on Top Chef with Padma Lakshmi) has quit Besh Restaurant Group after claims that he performed oral sex on a drunk woman and presided over a toxic workplace

Besh (seen here in an episode of Tonight With Seth Meyers) left on Monday, a letter to staff said. Complaints by 25 women about Besh or his company had emerged just two days earlier

Besh (seen here in an episode of Tonight With Seth Meyers) left on Monday, a letter to staff said. Complaints by 25 women about Besh or his company had emerged just two days earlier

Others alleged victims

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