The chopsticks are flying fast and furious in the fight for the right to be the real Mr. Chow. 007
Michael Chow, who claims to be the original Mr. Chow, is in the final prep stages before he opens his South Beach restaurant n the W Hotel. He has sued Philippe Chow, the head chef at the Hotel Gaansevort across the street, for what can best be described as name infringement.
But the food fight has gone from an episode of Iron Chef to a James Bond movie with the latest allegations in a federal lawsuit.
According to Michael Chow, Philippe sent a mole into his new kitchen to steal culinary secrets and to do a little reconnaissance on what equipment was in the Miami Mr. Chow location. The 65-year-old spy was decked out in chef's garb to blend in with the kitchen staff and attended a meeting on preparations for the W grand opening.
The phony chef was equipped with a cell phone and is seen on surveillance cameras whipping it out to call someone - allegedly his bosses back at Philippe's - just after the meeting. But there are no cell phones in Michael Chow's air tight kitchen so the move was a dead give away that he didn't belong.
When confronted by an executive chef, the spy said he was trying to appear "incognito," and so that "your boss will not notice," according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit calls it "corporate espionage." Cue Bond theme music.
"This incident further reinforces our suspicion of the deceptive practices and lengths the defendants will go to misrepresent themselves. It’s not enough that they’ve tried to steal our signature dishes, but now they appear to be trying to update their menu with new ideas from our kitchen,“ said Mr. Chow's attorney, Alan Kluger in a statement Friday.
But don't expect the other Chow to take these allegations lying down. He brings his own heat to the kitchen.
"Our answers to these twisted allegations will be filed in Fla. courts...There you will see how disturbed Michael Chow really is," said Stratis Morfogen, one of the owners of Philippe Chow Restaurant Group. "Philippe Chow and I do not want to bring ourselves down to Michael Chow's level by manipulating the press to promote our brand, unlike Michael Chow..."
Food fighting words, indeed.