Saba, New Orleans
Alon Shaya really loves food. He loves cooking it, being around it, learning about it,
and teaching others about it. Born in Israel and raised on cheesesteaks in Philadelphia,
Alon now calls New Orleans his home. The three celebrated restaurants he started and
helmed as executive chef/partner - Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya - all reflect his
culinary journey and resounding love of Israeli and Italian cuisine.
In 2017, Alon formed Pomegranate Hospitality to create a space where meaningful,
lasting relationships are created, community engagement prospers, and cultural
differences are celebrated. Pomegranate Hospitality hopes to foster opportunities for
colleagues, partners and friends in a comfortable environment, helping all involved to
achieve their personal and professional goals.
In 2016, Alon 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, Alon 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.
In March 2018, Alon published his debut cookbook, "Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My
Journey Back to Israel" (Knopf). Part memoir and part cookbook, Alon shares his deeply
personal journey of survival and discovery, exploring the evolution of a cuisine and the
transformative power and magic of food and cooking. Readers learn the secret to making
Shaya's acclaimed pita bread while hearing the food stories that have shaped his life. In
early 2018, chef Shaya announced the opening of two new restaurants: Saba in New
Orleans and Safta in Denver. Saba opened it’s doors in May 2018 in Uptown New Orleans.
Safta will open in Denver in Summer 2018.
Alon has been nominated for five James Beard Awards. He has been named "Best
Chef, South" while at Domenica in 2015, and Shaya won "Best New Restaurant" in 2016. He
was named one of the "50 People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living
magazine in 2015, and one of the "50 Most Influential Jews in America" by The Forward .
Alon, his wife Emily, and their two dogs Henry and Ceci, live in New Orleans. On
their days off, they enjoying traveling for new food experiences, playing tennis, and fly