A 26-year-old man has been arrested after a junior chef formerly employed at the Star Inn in North Yorkshire alleged he had been assaulted while working there.
The former demi chef de partie at the restaurant alleged that he had been held down and deliberately stung with nettles while making a nettle risotto, hit with a rolling pin and had his trousers set on fire with a blow torch. Meanwhile he alleged that he had seen another demi chef de partie held upside down and dunked in soup that was later served to customers. The chef was also burned with hot pans and knife sharpeners thrown at him, the ex-employee claimed.
The worker, who is now employed at another North Yorkshire restaurant, told Caterer he spent four months at the renowned eatery, one of the first pubs to win a Michelin star, before he left in April this year following the alleged trouser-burning incident.
"I went to the Star Inn because I thought it would be a really good place to work but basically it was a huge, big bullying joke. It was absolutely shocking, I wouldn't wish it on anyone," he said.
North Yorkshire Police confirmed they were investigating the allegations.
A police spokesman said: "A 19-year-old man reported an assault to North Yorkshire Police on 7 April 2010 which had occurred at business address in Harome. A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the allegations and released on police bail pending further enquiries."
In a statement, Star Inn owners Andrew and Jacquie Pern said: "We can confirm that we have conducted internal enquiries and are dealing with the matter in accordance with our employment procedures.
"To date, we have not been asked to provide any information to the police, but we should be pleased to assist with any enquiries they may have and are, of course, taking the matter extremely seriously."
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By Neil Gerrard
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