Chef Dan Doherty has expressed his regret after being “forced to leave” his own restaurant last year amid allegations he sexually harassed female staff.
Doherty, who was a judge on the BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook alongside Mary Berry, left the Royal Oak gastropub in Marylebone last November while an investigation was carried out by an external firm, reported The Sunday Times.
Consultancy firm HR180 interviewed Royal Oak employees about claims that Doherty had asked a junior female member of staff for oral sex and told workers he wanted to see them without their kitchen whites on.
He was found guilty of “misconduct” by the external firm and forced to apologise in front of staff at a company-wide meeting last month.
Doherty has returned to work following the investigation, moving from head chef to executive chef. The new role sees Doherty have oversight of the menu but he will be less involved in the day-to-day running of the kitchen.
Doherty said in a statement: “I would never intentionally make offensive comments to anyone I work with, female or male. I have apologised to the whole team for any offence I may have inadvertently caused. It would never be my intention.”
In a tweet today (Monday) the chef added: “I want to say sorry. There are mistruths in what was published but I have made mistakes, mistakes I truly am sorry for.”
Urban Inns, the company that runs the Royal Oak, said: “We take allegations of misconduct in any form very seriously and we used an independent HR company to thoroughly investigate some suggestions of inappropriate communications.
“Urban Inns Limited has acted, and continues to do so, on these recommendations, following which Dan returned to work.”
Doherty opened the Royal Oak in June 2018, marking his first solo venture since leaving Duck & Waffle in last April.
He is also set to launch a restaurant in New York City’s new Hudson Yards development in partnership with hospitality group Rhubarb.