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Inflate-a-Roach Gets Boulud Très Mad

Chef sues protesters.

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Can Daniel Boulud cook his enemies in court? The chef has filed suit against the Restaurant Opportunities Center, an advocacy group that has picketed Daniel four times in the past month. The center, which has conducted similar campaigns against Cité, the Redeye Grill, Shelly’s, and Café Fiorello, accuses Boulud of paying at least ten nonwhite employees less than their peers and of not promoting them as quickly. The campaign included having 40 ROC-ers invade his restaurant “during the height of dinner service” to deliver a letter to the manager while telling patrons “shame on you.” Then there was the twelve-foot inflatable roach parked out front, the supposed effort to remove him from the board of Meals on Wheels, and the MR. DANIEL BOULUD—STOP BEING SUCH A RACIST DUDE picket signs. Boulud, who denies ROC’s charges, says that he is losing customers. His suit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction against the center’s making “false and misleading” statements. ROC head Saru Jayaraman said, “We have First Amendment rights.”

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