Warring Spanish chefs cook up a recipe for peace

Peter Bodkin | The Manly Daily | 8 Apr 11 @ 04:15pm

CELEBRITY chef Miguel Maestre and his former employer barely exchanged glances as the one-time colleagues sat on opposite sides of the courtroom this morning.

The Elanora Heights resident and star of Miguel’s Tropical Kitchen came to court to defend an apprehended violence order application taken out by his former boss, Nelson Ng, who owns El Toro Loco on the Manly beachfront.

Mr Ng had accused Mr Maestre, who was previously head chef at the Spanish restaurant, of threatening to kill him after their working relationship turned sour.

The 61-year-old, who had been a guest at Mr Maestre’s wedding January last year, claimed the Spanish-born celebrity chef had told him “I will make sure that you suffer” and “there will be blood all over” while working at his eatery.

Mr Ng also claimed the chef had refused to return a leased Range Rover and his keys to the restaurant after his employment had been terminated.

But in a brief hearing at Manly Local Court today, Mr Maestre’s solicitor, Patrick Conaghan, told the court the pair had now entered into a “mutual undertaking” and the AVO would be dismissed.

Magistrate Vivien Swain accepted the withdrawal and said the two parties had entered into “solemn promises”.

Court documents stated the pair had agreed not to approach nor contact each other for 12 months, with other details of their written undertaking to stay confidential.

Earlier, Mr Maestre smiled and greeted the media with “buenos dias” as he arrived at court with his wife, Sascha.

Mr Conaghan had previously told The Manly Daily the AVO had spilled over from a “commercial dispute” regarding $100,000 in entitlements his client said he was still owed from Mr Ng.

But today he declined to comment further on the hearing, except to say that Mr Maestre was “absolutely” happy with the outcome.

“Bearing in mind everything has been resolved, I think it’s best just to let it go,” he said. “Everyone’s just gone their own ways.”

Mr Ng could not be contacted for comment.

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