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Grace Owner Alleges Duffy and Muser Took $10K in Truffles and More

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The shuttered three-Michelin-starred restaurant’s owner keeps battling his former chef and GM in court

Former Grace chef Curtis Duffy (right) and Michael Muser
Jason Little

The owner of shuttered three-Michelin-starred Grace continues to sling allegations at his former chef and general manager — and this time it’s about a lot of missing truffles, Wagyu beef, and more. Michael Olszewski, in yet another filing in Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday, alleges that “$10,000 worth of truffles and a significant amount of produce was missing from Grace’s inventory” after chef Curtis Duffy quit, that “a portion of Grace’s wine inventory and Wagyu beef was also unaccounted for,” and charges Duffy and general manager Michael Muser with “improperly using high-end ingredients provided by Grace at private events worldwide” for profit, the Sun-Times reports.

This comes on the heels of Duffy and Muser’s late-February lawsuit that aims to void a non-compete clause in their Grace contracts that bars them from opening a new restaurant, investing in, or working in one in the Chicago area for 18 months after Grace closed, which would be until mid-2019. Duffy told Make It Better in late December that he and Muser will form a new restaurant group and that “we’re going to build another restaurant that makes Grace look amateurish.”

To recap, Grace suddenly shuttered in late December after Duffy quit and his staff walked out. Olszewski, the restaurant’s majority owner and investor, had already fired Muser on November 30 for “chronic absenteeism,” he later said. Much of Duffy and Muser’s unhappiness reportedly also had to do with money, specifically a revenue-sharing clause in their contracts, after they all turned Grace into one of just 14 restaurants in America to earn a full three Michelin stars among countless other accolades.

In addition to the allegations surrounding the missing and unaccounted truffles, produce, wine and Wagyu, Olszewski’s latest suit again says that he plans to open a restaurant in the Grace space “in the very near future.” He also plans to open a casual restaurant, Onward, near Loyola soon.

Stay tuned for more updates on all fronts of this story.

Grace

652 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661 (817) 877-3388

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