Wine seller sues "Hell's Kitchen" star for skipping bill

Mon May 3, 2010 8:53pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. wine merchant went beyond just cursing Gordon Ramsay on Monday and filed a lawsuit against the television celebrity chef who is known as much for his command of swear words as he is for his sauces.

The merchant, Wineberry America LLC accused Ramsay, his private equity backers the Blackstone Group, The Righa Royal New York hotel, now called The London NYC, and others of not paying for $40,900 of wine that was ordered and delivered, according to the lawsuit filed in New York.

Wineberry, an importer and wholesaler of fine wines with offices in the United States, France and China, said it regularly delivered wines from July 2007 until November 2009 to Ramsay's New York property, according to court papers.

But at some point, the Scottish-born star of the "Hell's Kitchen" television program, who has opened restaurants in some of the world's most famous lodgings including Claridge's in London and the Dubai Hilton Creek Hotel, stopped paying for the wines, the suit maintained.

Executives for the restaurant in New York, now known as The London NYC, as well as Wineberry, The Blackstone Group, and the lawyer who filed the lawsuit David Katz seeking comment were not immediately available to comment.

On "Hell's Kitchen," chefs compete to see who can prepare the best meals as Ramsay pushes them hard with his sometimes off-color language in a high-pressure restaurant environment.

(Reporting by Leslie Gevirtz; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)