Chefs Get Into Food Fight

New York restaurateur sues, claiming copycat ripped her off
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2007 4:46 PM CDT
Chefs Get Into Food Fight
Chef Mario Batali, center, plates a pasta dish in the kitchen of Del Posto, his Italian restaurant in New York, in this Feb. 8, 2006, file photo. Despite a dispute with its old landlord that led to threats of eviction and a costly legal battle, the restaurant, owned by celebrity chefs Batali and Lidia...   (Associated Press)

Rebecca Charles, chef/owner of the famed Pearl Oyster Bar in Manhattan, is taking her former sous-chef to court, claiming he knocked off her menu and decor for his own New York eatery. Lawyers for Charles, who is seeking unspecified financial damages, said that the owner of Ed's Lobster Bar had stolen her intellectual property, the New York Times reports.

Such claims are more common among large chain restaurants. But legal experts say that  increased competition among restaurateurs and higher costs will likely lead to more suits like Charles'. Meanwhile, Ed McFarland, owner of Ed's Lobster House, said his place is no copy...and that the lawsuit "will only bring more business my way." (More food stories.)

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