Dan Doherty: BBC celebrity chef hit by sexual harassment allegations from female kitchen staff

Dan Doherty: BBC celebrity chef hit by sexual harassment allegations from female kitchen staff

Celebrity chef Dan Doherty, who stars alongside Mary Berry in the BBC series Britain’s Best Home Cook, had to leave his own restaurant for a month following accusations that he was sexually harassing female employees.

Mr Doherty left his central London gastropub The Royal Oak in November while an investigation into his conduct towards staff took place.

The restaurant’s parent company looked into claims the TV chef had demanded oral sex from a junior female colleague and told others he wanted to see them without their kitchen whites, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Mr Doherty reportedly made an apology in front of the whole workforce when he returned a month later, and switched roles from head chef to executive chef.

The BBC judge said that he had made clear his regret for any offence caused by his remarks.

“I would never intentionally make offensive comments to anyone I work with, male or female,” Mr Doherty told the newspaper in a statement. “I have apologised to the whole team for any offence I may have inadvertently caused. It would never be my intention.”

Two former employees at the Marylebone gastropub claimed four members of staff quit last year over Mr Doherty’s behaviour.

The independent consultancy HR180 was hired to investigate the allegations and reportedly sent an email to staff explaining that alleged inappropriate communication was under examination.

In January 2018, the TV chef was forced to apologise after he was found to have made homophobic comments online, telling one fan: “Don’t be gay.”

Mr Doherty is a co-founder of the Chefs of Tomorrow group which supports young talent in the food industry. He is also set to star in a new series of Britain’s Best Home Cook with Ms Berry and Claudia Winkleman, having first appeared last year on the BBC’s replacement for The Great British Bake Off.

Urban Inns Limited, the owner of The Royal Oak, explained the disciplinary process Mr Doherty had undergone at the end of last year.

“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.”

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