Personal Effects: Alon Shaya

The New Orleans–based chef behind Italian gems Domenica and Pizza Domenica, and the self-titled, James Beard Award-winning contemporary Israeli restaurant Shaya, talks about the personal items he can’t live without.

“Sadly, between the pictures, calendar, and phone calls, my iPhone is a constant part of my day. When I retire one day, I'll throw it in the ocean. I have a wood-burning oven in each of my restaurants, and couldn't do the work I do without one. Whether its pita or pizza, I need that oven. We use pecan and oak wood to fire ours. My wood-handled Japanese chef’s knife from Sakai Takayuki, given to me by a friend on my wedding day, is always on the chopping block at my house. My favorite Italian travel food book, Eating In Italy by Faith Willinger was my bible when I lived there, and I still swear by it. I put extra virgin olive oil on everything I eat. I like to use Partanna, but any good quality brand works. I love my Krewe Du Optic sunglasses, made in New Orleans. It’s sunny down here, and this local company makes really cool sunglasses. I’ve been taking tennis lessons with my wife for the last year and it's been a game changer for me. Now I'm even more competitive than I was before.”


Sakai Takayuki knife with redwood handle; $180;
Eating In Italy by Faith Willinger, $5;
Partanna extra virgin olive oil, $14;
​​​​​​​Krewe Du Optic sunglasses, $195;
Wilson tennis racket, $230;

Find more Personal Effects from DEPARTURES editors and our favorite tastemakers »