A west London restaurant frequented by celebs Kate Moss, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue has been fined £7,500 for falsely claiming that meat it was using was organic.
Johnny Ekperigin, managing partner of Julie's Restaurant in Notting Hill, received the fine at West London Magistrates Court after being found guilty of three offences under Section 15 (1) (B) of the Food Safety Act 1990. The council was also awarded costs of £4,297.45
Environmental Health Officers from Kensington and Chelsea council noted that while the menu made claims that these meats were organic none of the delivery notes identified them as being so. The officers consequently seized a number of records relating to the purchases.
Upon interviewing the meat suppliers, it became clear that they had not supplied any organic meat to the restaurant from 1 October to the 21 November 2005.
Fiona Buxton, cabinet member for environmental health at the council, said: "This was a very serious case indeed and customers have a right to expect to receive what is advertised on the menu.
"For many visitors to the restaurant this has led to a betrayal of lifestyle. Consumers buy into the idea of organic food either due to the health implications or in support of good animal husbandry. Julie's Restaurant has cheated them of these values.
Robin Maynard, campaigns director of the Soil Association, welcomed the tough sanctions.
"The tougher the policing by trading standards and environmental health officers, the better it is both for genuine, committed organic outlets and for organic consumers," he said.