New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya Wins the James Beard Award / by BRG Hospitality

CULTURATED: Shane Finkelstein, City Guides New Orleans


On a recent afternoon, I had the opportunity to interview newly-crowned James Beard Award-winning Chef Alon Shaya over plates of chicken schnitzel, lamb kebabs and heirloom carrots.

The only thing these dishes had in common was that they barely existed in New Orleansbefore the chef opened his latest restaurant, Shaya, on Magazine Street in mid-February.

Lamb Kebabs over tahini, tomatoes and cilantro

Lamb Kebabs over tahini, tomatoes and cilantro

Alon’s story has become the stuff of local legend. The Israeli-born chef was plucked out of a restaurant in St. Louis by legendary Louisiana chef John Besh. He was sent on a whirlwind cooking expedition through Italy, immersing himself in the local culinary traditions in order to return to New Orleans and head the kitchen at Besh’s latest concept, Domenica.

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