US lawsuit accuses Michelin chef of serving worst meat to Asians
A chef of a three-Michelin-star restaurant in New York has been accused of discriminating against Asians by demanding that they be seated away from him while serving them the worst cuts of meat, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of former employees.
A statement from former waitress Emi Howard alleges that Mr Cesar Ramirez, who runs Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, refers to Asians as well people from Manhattan's Upper West Side area as "s**t people" and instructed his servers to seat them away from his area of the restaurant, which charges a flat US$255 ($334) fee per diner along with a US$50 service charge.
The restaurant serves French-Asian fusion food.
When Ms Howard, who is of Asian descent, failed to heed Ramirez's instructions on one occasion, the lawsuit stated that she was subjected to a "wild verbal tirade" from the chef.
Mr Ramirez also allegedly told his servers to give Asian customers and Upper West Siders the worst cuts from any large piece of meat.
Ms Howard and four other sacked employees are suing the chef and Brooklyn Fare owner Moe Issa for not receiving their share of tips and not paying them for overtime.
A statement from Issa on the New York Eater denied any knowledge of the lawsuit and rebutted the allegations, saying: "At Brooklyn Fare, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our staff who hail from around the globe, and we welcome everyone who comes through our doors with open arms.
"We pay all of our staff fair wages for their hours worked as well as gratuity in accordance to the law."