The last thing you’d expect while dining at a Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant is to swallow an inch-long piece of wire from a cheap grill brush that was lodged in your dish. Yet that’s what happened with a customer named Barry Brett in February 2015 and hence cost the Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud a cool US$1.3 million.
The customer Barry Brett along with his wife decided to dine at Michelin-starred French chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, db Bistro Moderne. Shortly after he began eating, Brett felt something lodged in his throat and had to undergo an immediate surgery. The inchlong (2.5 cm) wire eventually caused a fatal infection, his lawyers argued.
“In speaking with the jurors afterwards, they were shocked that one of the most famous chefs in the world had no oversight, no polices, no procedures, no nothing which would have prevented this incident from occurring,” Brett’s attorney says, per the New York Post. “They wanted to send a clear message … to the entire restaurant industry that it is unacceptable to use wire brushes anywhere near food.” The restaurant’s lawyer says the eatery’s executive chef was “shocked” by the jury’s decision, and added that he would appeal.
According to The Guardian, a New York jury ruled in favour of the couple recently when they fined the restaurant $1 million for being negligent and awarded Brett $300,000 (around Rs 8.6 crore) for the damage he incurred.
Boulud has made New York his hub since the 1980s, but also runs restaurants in Boston, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Montreal, Palm Beach, Singapore, Toronto and Washington.