"Fraudulent," "inept," "self-dealing," "incompetent and dishonest" is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's opinion of Rowen Seibel, the licensed operator of tourist dessert destination Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace. Part of an escalating legal drama against a former colleague, this case would remain localized to Los Angeles, except Seibel is still a current partner in Ramsay's Vegas ventures Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay Steak and Gordon Ramsay BurGR. The growing legal salvos are all set to create big problems for Caesars Entertainment, who if the claims of Ramsay and his GR US Licensing, LP company are correct, have yet another human liability working within their empire.
The first salvo in these lawsuit barrages began with Seibel suing Ramsay for $10.8 million for shutting down his Fat Cow eatery in L.A., which Seibel had invested money and was managing. Seibel's charge was the shouty chef created an elaborate plot to shut down the project and re-brand the space on his own.
Now, the Hell's Kitchen star has shot back with a list of vitriolic rebuttals and personal indictments, promised as the "first step in thwarting Defendant Rowen Seibel's fraudulent scheme to freeload upon the renown and acumen of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay."
Connected since 2011, Ramsay claims Siebel over-hyped his contacts with Caesars to help gain entrees for the chef into the Las Vegas scene. When the Fat Cow came along, Seibel "begged to be included," but "proved egregiously inept in its management." As problems mounted, "Mr. Seibel stole from the restaurant account, worsening its fiscal shortfall" and used his connection with Ramsay to attempt other deals on the side as he "traveled throughout the world blatantly mischaracterizing his rights under agreements governing restaurant ventures involving Mr. Ramsay."
The Ramsay legal team put a bow on the whole rebuttal to Seibels' lawsuit by noting, "in short, Seibel has tried to ride Mr. Ramsay's star, but through his own fraud, misconduct, and derelictions, brought the The Fat Cow restaurant crashing down."
This is not the first major legal problem for Seibel in Las Vegas. Despite erroneous press mentions he is owner of the original and famed Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York, Seibel is only licensed to use the name and operate outside of New York and Nassau counties. In 2011, the owners of the original restaurant attempted to strip him of his license over allegations the Las Vegas branch was selling tacky souvenirs, putting un-approved items on the menu like "Dr. Oz's Muesli" and Seibel not paying timely royalties to the parent company.
More recently, Rowen Seibel has been named by local gossip columnist Robin Leach as a partner in the forthcoming Morimoto Las Vegas restaurant at The Mirage from "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto. A rep for the Mirage says Seibel is not involved in the project.
· The Gordon Ramsay Fat Cow Lawsuit Spills Over to Vegas [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of Gordon Ramsay [~ELV~]