Sunday 21 January 2018

Chef Gallagher serves up €1,400 in unpaid wages for waiter

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

AN ex-employee of Conrad Gallagher who was finally paid wages owed to him by the celebrity chef yesterday has said he would return to his restaurant -- but only as a diner.

Waiter Rishi Mohiputlall has ruled out ever working for the Donegal man again after a year of chasing him for €1,467.

The 30-year-old received the outstanding amount in a bank transfer after a planned public action outside Mr Gallagher's former restaurant Salon des Saveurs on Aungier Street in Dublin was postponed last Friday.

Mr Mohiputlall worked at Salon des Saveurs for a month during June and July 2010. He expressed concerns about not getting paid and then left the restaurant.

However, despite numerous attempts, including an official complaint to the Labour Relations Commission, Mr Mohiputlall had been unable to obtain his salary until he decided to go public on the issue last Friday.

"I am very happy now that Mr Gallagher has kept his word," Mr Mohiputlall told the Irish Independent.

The Mauritian, who has been in Ireland for three years and said he would never work for Conrad Gallagher again, revealed he would happily return to any of Mr Gallagher's restaurants as a guest.

"The food is very good. Of course I would eat there again," he said.

Mr Mohiputlall sought support from the Restaurant and Catering Workers Forum, established by SIPTU and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI).

Helen Lowry of MRCI said while they were "delighted" Mr Mohiputlall had been paid, the case was not an isolated incident.

"Non-compliance in the restaurant industry continues to be a real problem which must be addressed," said Ms Lowry.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr Gallagher said he would be delighted to have Mr Mohiputlall as a guest in any of his establishments.

"Of course Mr Mohiputlall would be welcome and I would like to add that when this matter was brought to my attention on Friday, I rectified it in minutes," said Mr Gallagher.

The 40-year-old revealed he had now transferred his tasting restaurant, Salon des Saveurs, from Aungier Street to Dawson Street's La Stampa Hotel where it would operate next to The Dining Room by Conrad Gallagher, the restaurant owned by businessman Louis Murray.

"It's better to have my business concerns under one roof," Mr Gallagher said.

Mr Gallagher ran a chain of restaurants in Dublin in the late 1990s which all later closed. He then relocated to the US.

He was subsequently arrested in New York in 2003 and extradited to Dublin to stand trial for his alleged theft of paintings and later acquitted.

He then moved to South Africa until summer 2009 when he decided to return to Ireland with his wife Candice Coetzee and two young sons after the collapse of his Geisha Wok and Noodle bar in Cape Town.

Irish Independent

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