Beware wire brushes: French chef sentenced in New York to negligence

Craig Barritt of Le, reports a small metal wire in a coq au vin could be very expensive to the famous French chef Daniel Boulud: one of his New York restaurants was ordered to pay $ 1.3 million in damages to a customer who had be emergency surgery after swallowing.

daniel-bouludThe client, Barry Brett, had gone with his wife on 28 February 2015, the restaurant Bistro Moderne, on 44th Street, near Times Square in Manhattan, where he ordered a coq au vin.

Mr. Brett soon felt a foreign object in the throat and had to leave the restaurant, according to the complaint registered on 15 April, seen by AFP.

He had gone to the emergency where he had surgery. The surgeon had identified the object as a wire of 2.5 cm in length, from a cleaning brush. An infection could be fatal, according to his lawyers.

In a ruling Thursday, the New York court found that the restaurant had been “negligent” and sentenced him to pay $ 1.3 million in damages – including 1 million for pain and suffering – Mr. Brett plus 11,000 dollars to his wife.

The restaurant known for its chic bistro-style kitchen, and for launching the “gourmet” burgers in 2001, declined to comment.

According to the lawyer of the institution, J.P. Bottari, the defendant is considering appeals against this judgment, mainly against the moral damage. “It was not intentional,” said the lawyer told AFP, saying that hurt feelings could be withheld if the defendant acted knowingly.

He said, as he had done during the trial, Barry Brett had waited four days before going to the hospital, which had contributed greatly to aggravate his condition.

Counsel for Barry Brett, Elizabeth Eilender, expressed her “very satisfied” that the jury recognized the severity of injuries his client and recalled “how he (was) dangerous to use a brush metal near food. “

For her, “the restaurant has never wanted to take responsibility” and, instead, “sought to overwhelm the victim.”

Daniel Boulud appeared last year in the ranking of the magazine Le Chef 100 chefs in the world, “in which he must have been” in 36th position. It has ten restaurants in New York, including “Daniel”, the most famous, and twenty restaurants across the world.


A sackful of dead pheasant is not the best night for a restaurant inspection reports that Daniel Boulud held an annual $1,000 a head fall game dinner last night as a fundraiser for the upcoming competition of Bocuse d’Or.

He, chef Gavin Kaysen, and Ariane Daguin, the founder of D’Artagnan, served up woodpigeon and chestnut ballotine, Juniper scented grouse pâté, and a whole foret of game.

Boulud appeared slightly stressed as he revealed at the beginning of dinner that a city Health Inspector was on the premises to discern the restaurant’s letter grade. It took the chef away from most of the festivities, as the DOH goon stayed all dinner long. As Josh Stein noted, "… a night when Daguin brings a sackful of dead pheasant is not the best night for a restaurant inspection."