Chef Dan Doherty, who yesterday was the subject of a Sunday Times report into allegations of sexual harassment, has been confirmed as “no longer working at the Royal Oak” — the gastropub at which he is a named director and was head chef.
A statement released by the Royal Oak 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.
Doherty is a director in Urban Inns Limited, the Royal Oak’s parent company. His business partner, Andy Ward, also a director, did not immediately confirm whether Doherty would maintain his shareholding in the company, which according to the most recent company filings, was 50 percent. He also did not immediately return a request for further information on Doherty’s future role in the company, and whether the statement pertained only to the chef’s prohibition from working on the premises.
Reports yesterday stated that Doherty had been “forced” to leave the Royal Oak in November while an investigation was carried out by an external HR company into allegations of sexual harassment. It was concluded that Doherty was guilty of “misconduct.”
It is understood that following the completion of this investigation, Doherty returned to work — in a different role. As well as being a director of the company, he had worked day-to-day as head chef at the gastropub. It was reported that on his return, he took up the newly created position of executive chef to limit his interaction with junior staff members.
Doherty is accused of requesting oral sex from a female junior member of staff, making inappropriate comments to members of kitchen staff, and according to the Sunday Times report, “fostering a culture of harassment at the Royal Oak.”
Earlier today the chef confirmed that he would step away from the BBC TV series, Britain’s Best Home Cook, in which he starred alongside Mary Berry as a judge last year. It was also confirmed this afternoon that hospitality firm Rhubarb, for which he was consulting on a New York City restaurant opening, has “severed ties with the chef.”
Eater has again contacted Doherty himself for further comment on the nature of his departure and ongoing involvement in the company he runs. He did not immediately respond.