Michelin-starred chef Jean Christophe Ansanay-Alex's unfair dismissal case against his former business partner at L'Ambassade de l'Ile has been adjourned by six months until September.
The French chef appeared before the London Central Employment Tribunal this week, claiming unfair dismissal from his position as head chef and general manager at the South Kensington restaurant following a dispute with his business partner Jean Michel Aulas.
"The case of JC Ansanay Alex versus L'Ambassade Limited has been adjourned to be heard on 27 September 2010 for three days," the chef's lawyer said in a statement.
"Patrick Bertrand of ICMI (the holding company wholly-owned by Jean-Michel AULAS, the owner of Bistro K), speaking for the respondent was subjected to intense cross examination over two days, longer than anticipated, and the tribunal decided yesterday that it would not have enough time to hear the full evidence of Ansanay-Alex and Sevim Cesim in the remaining time allocated for the hearing."
L'Ambassade closed last August after Aulas - founder and chairman of computer software company CEGID and president of French football club Olympique Lyonnais - decided to shut the fine-dining restaurant with a view to reopening it as a simpler brasserie. It relaunched as the more casual Bistro K in the autumn, with former sous chef Armand Sablon in charge of the kitchen.
French chef Ansanay-Alex, who returned to his two-Michelin-starred restaurant L'Auberge de l'Ile in Lyon, is now claiming unfair dismissal and whistle blowing.
"This followed increasing disagreements between Ansanay-Alex and Aulas over the issue of unpaid suppliers of the restaurant, in particular over the payment of builders who had been hired in the spring of 2008 to renovate and transform the ex-Lundum's restaurant on Old Brompton Road in South Kensington into l'Ambassade and whose invoices were still outstanding after almost a year," the lawyer said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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