It’s certainly been a Kitchen Nightmare for restaurant entrepreneur Rowen Seibel, who is suing former business partner Gordon Ramsay for cutting him out of his fair share of the business from The Fat Cow, which the two opened in Las Vegas. The restaurant underwent some legal controversy because another restaurant called The Fat Cow already existed in Florida. Instead of changing the name, Seibel alleges that Ramsay’s team secretly made plans to open a new restaurant in its place. Seibel had invested $800,000 in the space, but is now not a business partner in the new venue, according to The New York Daily News.
“Ramsay attempted to run the business and make decisions on behalf of (his partners) similar to his television personality on Hell’s Kitchen — as a dictatorship,” Seibel’s lawyer, Paul Sweeney, says in court papers.
UPDATE: Chef Ramsay has responded to the allegations saying, "We're surprised that Mr. Seibel has the audacity to file this ridiculous suit when he and his team were responsible for the day to day running of The Fat Cow and spectacularly mismanaged it resulting in a string of financial and legal issues. Gordon Ramsay and his team immediately stepped in and tried to resolve these issues, but Seibel refused to engage in any meaningful conversations, rendering the restaurant unsustainable. Throughout, Ramsay was very forthcoming with Seibel that any future plan for another restaurant partnership in Los Angeles was impossible due to Seibel’s refusal to operate and fund the restaurant properly, sadly including Seibel diverting funds from the business.”
The new restaurant will be featured in Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen show, and Siebel claims this was Ramsay’s plan all along. The short-lived Fat Cow underwent quite a bit of controversy earlier when former employees of The Fat Cow sued Ramsay for unpaid wages. Contractors who worked on the restaurant have also sued for an unpaid tab.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi