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Alon Shaya        

Award-Winning Chef & Author

Alon Shaya is Chef-Partner of Pomegranate Hospitality, which includes Saba in New Orleans, Safta in Denver, and both Miss River and Chandelier Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. Born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and a proud New Orleanian, Shaya has always had a deep love and appreciation for food and the singular way restaurants anchor their communities.

In 2017, Shaya and his wife Emily founded Pomegranate Hospitality with a mission to create a space where meaningful, lasting relationships are created, community engagement prospers, cultural di erences are celebrated, and personal and professional growth of the team are weighed with equal measure. Mutual respect, equality, and fostering a comfortable environment for all to grow and thrive are among Pomegranate Hospitality’s core values.

In 2016, Shaya joined forces with Donna Barnett, his high school home economics teacher, to start the Shaya Barnett Foundation, committed to providing culinary education and resources to high school students. Tapping into the philanthropic community in New Orleans and beyond, Shaya cooks to raise money for No Kid Hungry, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and DC Central Kitchen/Martha's Table. He is a recipient of the "Youth Advocate Award" from Liberty's Kitchen, and was honored by InspireNOLA Schools for his work with Edna Karr High School. He now serves on the board of the New Orleans Career Center and the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Denver.

In March 2018, Shaya published his cookbook, "Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel." Part memoir and part cookbook, Shaya shares Shaya's deeply personal journey of survival and discovery, exploring the evolution of a cuisine and the transformative power and magic of food and cooking.

In 2018, Pomegranate Hospitality opened two new restaurants: Saba (meaning grandpa) in Uptown New Orleans and Safta (meaning grandma) in the River North neighborhood of Denver. Both restaurants focus on a journey through food and beverage which pays homage to the culinary landscape of Israel. In 2020, the group partnered with Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans to introduce Miss River and Chandelier Bar to the city. Miss River is Shaya’s love letter to Louisiana and was named one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants in America.” Chandelier Bar celebrates the rich history of New Orleans cocktail culture alongside caviar service, small plates, and snacks that pay tribute to the city chef calls home.

Shaya, a multiple James Beard Foundation Award winner, was named Best Chef: South in 2015 and his restaurant won Best New Restaurant the following year. He was named one of the "50 People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living and one of the "50 Most Influential Jews in America" by The Forward.

When not working, Shaya loves to spend time with his wife Emily, daughter Ruth, and dog Ceci. He enjoys traveling for new food experiences around the world, playing tennis, and fly fishing.

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