Culture

Former 'Top Chef' Star Mike Isabella Sued for Sexual Harassment

The D.C. restaurateur is the latest chef to be accused of misconduct
Mike Isabella Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Photo: Greg Powers 

Mike Isabella, a former Top Chef contestant and the power restaurateur behind 11 D.C.-area restaurants, including Requin on the Wharf, is being sued by a former employee for "extraordinary" sexual harassment.

Chloe Caras, a former manager for Isabella Eatery, alleges that during her three years with Mike Isabella Concepts (MIC), Isabella and his partners subjected her to "unwelcome touching, sexual advances, vulgar and explicitly sexual remarks and gestures and sexist insults," The Washington Post reports. Caras also claims that she received multiple texts calling her a "dumb bitch" and a "whore."

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"I think I was in denial," recalls Caras, who continued to stay with the restaurant group, believing her treatment was a normal part of the industry. Caras claims she was eventually fired after she attempted to leave work one night after Isabella suggested she sleep with a sous-chef, during which point he chased her to the door calling her a "bitch."

In response to the lawsuit, both Isabella and MIC's partners have denied the accusations. "Simply put, the allegations of an unwelcoming or hostile work atmosphere are false," the company says in a statement. "Harassment, discrimination, bullying, abuse, or unequal treatment of any kind whatsoever are not tolerated at MIC."

Read the full story on The Washington Post.

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