Dan Doherty found guilty of misconduct at The Royal Oak - updated


Updated 28/1/19 with responses from Dan and The Royal Oak

Was it really only yesterday that the restaurant scene on Twitter was wondering when the Me Too movement would finally touch down in London?

Seems like we didn't have too long to wait. This morning the Sunday Times has published a story revealing that chef and TV presenter Dan Doherty (formerly of Duck & Waffle) has been found guilty of misconduct at his new restaurant.

The chef was suspended for a month from the Urban Inn Ltd-owned The Royal Oak while an external investigation was carried out. According to the paper, allegations included claims "he sexually harassed female staff by asking for sexual intercourse and oral sex."

While many, including us, have been surprised by the news, seems it wasn't quite so much of a shock to others.

Dan's co-founder Anna Sulan Masing at the TMRW project responded (28 January)  to say she was deeply disappointed in him: "He has let down/betrayed the people who have velieved in and supported him..."

On the issue of whether she'd heard or experienced instances of inappropriate behaviour she said: "I heard them too (although not related to work). I addressed these directly to Dan in a way I felt appropriate...I believe others in the industry did too." Clearly she wasn't expecting the news to break, given her responses to chef Tim Anderson the previous day, on the issue of whether any chefs here would find the Me Too spotlight shone on them. 

Finally, Dan himself took to social media to post briefly, saying he would not be returning for the second series of his TV show.

And - hours later - issuing an apology.

But it didn't end there. Rhubarb - who he was working with on his first NYC restaurant - announced it had cut ties with the chef, saying: "We have decided to end our consultancy agreement with Dan Doherty in view of the allegations of impropriety made against Mr Doherty.

And while originally The Royal Oak had promoted Dan to executive chef from Head Chef it ended the day by parting ways with him, issuing a statement online that said: "We can confirm that Dan Doherty is no longer working at The Royal Oak with immediate effect. We will not be making any further comment about the reported incidents. Our focus is on the wellbeing of our team and business."

So is this now the start of a series of revelations relating to sexual misconduct issues within London's kitchens?I guess we'll have to wait and see. Certainly it sounds like there are stories waiting in the wings...


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