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Wire in coq au vin costs French chef Boulud's restaurant $1.3mn

Chef Daniel Boulud with his wife Katherine (L) in New York in September 2016
Chef Daniel Boulud with his wife Katherine (L) in New York in September 2016 AFP:Dimitrios Kambouris/getty Images North America
2 min

A Michelin-starred French chef has been fined over a million dollars by a New York court because a customer swallowed a piece of wire in his coq au vin.


The jury fined Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne 1.3 million dollars (1.2 million euros) - 300,000 dollars to customer Barry Brett, who swallowed the wire, 11,000 dollars to his wife and one million dollars in punitive damages.

The restaurant, on West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan and one of several owned by Boulud in New York, is famous for its gourmet burgers.

Shortly after he began his main course, Brett felt a foreign object in his throat and left.

A surgeon who subsequently operated on him found a 2.5cm piece of metal wire, which had caused an infection that Brett's lawyers argued could have been fatal.

Restaurant to appeal

The restaurant has declined to comment but one of its lawyers, Paul Bottari, says it plans to appeal, principally against the damages on the grounds that the harm was not intentional.

Brett waited four days before going to hospital, he argued in court, seriously worsening his condition.

Brett's lawyer, Elizabeth Eilender, welcomed the verdict, saying it recognised that it is "unacceptable to use wire brushes anywhere near food".

Boulud's best-known New York restaurant, Daniel, has two Michelin stars.

He also runs restaurants in Boston, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Montreal, Palm Beach, Singapore, Toronto and Washington.

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