Head chef Daniel Wodehouse has walked out of Twickenham restaurant McClements, claiming that suppliers were refusing to deal with owner John McClement.
It is the second time that the restaurant's head chef has left the operation in two years. At the beginning of 2004, former chef Barry Tonks quit the kitchen just weeks before it was awarded its first Michelin star, giving similar reasons.
Wodehouse said he routinely had to pay suppliers himself, before claiming it back from the restaurant. "Half of them won't deal with the restaurant any more," he said. "It wasn't just a case of cash on delivery but cash before delivery."
McClement admitted that he hadn't paid some suppliers on time, because they were charging astronomical prices.
"I have been in business for 18 years, so for people to say that I am not paying suppliers is absurd - I would have been bankrupt by now," he added.