David Chang, the head chef at David Chang’s restaurants in Paris, Brussels and the UK, has quit his position amid allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with several women.
In a statement, the chef said: “I have been a friend of many years, and I have always respected my colleagues.
I have made many mistakes, and this is a consequence of my age, but I have learnt from them and I am now in a stronger position to take the next step.”
Chang, 51, is the third of five chefs at David’s restaurants to quit in the past year.
In February, he was accused of unwanted touching by three female customers and a waitress, who reported the incident to the police.
In September, the New York Times reported that three other women had made similar allegations against Chang.
Chang has denied the claims, and said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro last month that he has been a pillar of his restaurant’s success and a mentor to many of his colleagues.
He said he had been given an ultimatum by his bosses to quit his role as head chef: “You have to resign.”
But his departure is yet another blow to a business that has been hit hard by the economic crisis and the loss of its Michelin star restaurant award in 2014, and has been forced to sell out all of its restaurants since it closed.
A French judge has ruled that the restaurant has to pay more than $6 million in damages for the alleged mistreatment of customers, and to cover its costs for the time Chang has been away.
The chef said the restaurant will appeal the ruling.