Eric Korsh has stepped down from his new head chef position at New York City’s Racines following allegations of misconduct during his time at North End Grill. According to Eater, the decision to part ways was a mutual agreement between Korsh and the owners of Racines, a wine bar in Tribeca. He will be temporarily replaced by sous chef Mariana Mateos until she leaves to open her own restaurant in France.
This new information follows a lengthy report conducted by Eater detailing mishandled abuse allegations at restaurants in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Eight former staffers of North End Grill accused Korsh — who signed on as sous chef from 2014 to early 2018 — of regularly making inappropriate comments about female customers and losing his temper at both front- and back-of-house staff.
“I have always been intensely focused on maintaining high standards and doing what I believe is best for business and customer satisfaction. I realize that at times I have been very direct in providing feedback to team members,” Korsh told Eater. “I am deeply sorry I made some colleagues feel badly; this was never my intention. For those of us in the industry, kitchens and dining rooms are our places of work — they are not places to cultivate personal relationships. As a leader I am responsible for maintaining those boundaries for everyone. I sincerely apologize to those colleagues who I made feel uncomfortable through my actions.”
In the wake of the powerful #MeToo movement, Korsh joins numerous other chefs and high-profile figures in other fields accused of sexual harassment and misconduct including New Orleans’ John Besh, Plaza Hotel’s Todd English, Top Chef alum Johnny Iuzzini, and The Chew’s Mario Batali. The scope of the problem makes the need for reform perhaps the most important of the 20 lessons we learned about food in 2017.