As a little boy in Philadelphia, Alon Shaya spent most of his time in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, which instilled in him a passion for cooking. After training at the Culinary Institute of America, Alon interned at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, too young to gamble, but ready to take on the casino kitchens. Alon and Chef John Besh forged a partnership in 2008 to open Domenica, a family-oriented, authentic Italian restaurant in New Orleans Historic Roosevelt Hotel. In 2010, Esquire Magazine named Shaya one of four Chefs to Watch. In 2011, the restaurant was awarded “Best Hotel Restaurant” by Gambit Weekly and a Top Ten restaurant in the Times-Picayune’s Dining Guide, and Shaya was named “Chef of the Year” by Eater New Orleans.