50 Eggs Sues Chef Bee, Claims He Broke "Out in Hives if He Had to Cook"
One of South Florida's hottest restaurant companies is suing a prominent former chef, alleging deceit, betrayal, and incompetence. In a steamy lawsuit filed this past Tuesday that reads like an epic novel, 50 Eggs Restaurant Company LLC alleges Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, known to most Miami restaurantgoers as Chef Bee, "would break out in hives if he had to cook" and "did not know how to run a professional kitchen."
Bill Wisser 50 Eggs has sued the former Khong executive chef.
See also: Khong's Chef Bee Headed to Oishi Thai
Bee is the former chef at Khong River House in South Beach. He departed suddenly last month, saying he wanted to return to Oishi Thai, a North Miami place he founded in 2005. 50 Eggs owns not only Khong, which has received national acclaim, but also Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Swine Southern Table & Bar, two of the region's hottest eateries.
"I am personally and professionally disappointed in Bee's decisions, all of which forced us to this point," says 50 Eggs CEO John Kunkel. "It is truly unfortunate that Bee forced us to seek the help of a court of law to teach him the difference between right and wrong."
The 45-page lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, drew a strong response from Bee, whose lawyers call the claims preposterous. "[Kunkel] promised me this would be good for my family company," he said. "After two months, he broke that promise."
The lawsuit and response provide a stunning look at what happened backstage at the innovative restaurant that was a semifinalist for the 2013 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant; the award recognizes establishments that are "likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come." When Khong River House opened in December 2012, the restaurant gained an instant following thanks to its warm and inviting décor, innovative cocktail program, and authentic Thai street food. Though the news release announcing the opening of the restaurant listed a team of three chefs in the kitchen, it was the executive chef -- Bee -- who became the breakout star, quickly gaining celebrity status with a seminar spot at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.