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El Bulli chef sued over allegations of cheating former partner | Life and style | The Guardian

One of the world's most celebrated chefs, Spaniard Ferran Adrià, is to appear in court over allegations that he cheated a former partner out of his proper share in the legendary El Bulli restaurant.

The heirs of Miquel Horta, a former financial backer and shareholder in El Bulli, claim that the chef took advantage of their father's frail mental health to con him into selling his share in the business for a knockdown rate, according to Spain's Cadena SER radio station.

Horta's children say that their father's financing of a new, bigger kitchen at the beachside restaurant outside the north-eastern town of Roses was key to El Bulli's later success.

Horta received 20% of the business in return for putting in the money to rebuild and expand the kitchens in the early 1990s.

In 2005, Adrià and his business partner Juli Soler bought out Horta - who had originally made his money from making eau de cologne. They reportedly paid Horta, who has since died, €1m for the 20% share.

Now Horta's sons, Jofre and Sergi, claim that Adrià and Soler deliberately set an excessively low valuation for a restaurant that had become a brand name with global recognition.

by Nomad on Mon May 7th, 2012 at 04:14:18 PM EST
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