The current economic environment is characterized by increasing insolvency and business failures at all levels. Some of the most astute managers and famous celebrities now have to deal with the stressful process of managing more debt than their current incomes can afford.

More people are seeing the necessity of and hope in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Among those people is a top chef who many might be surprised to know about due to his perceived culinary and business successes.

Geoffrey Zakarian stars in various TV cooking programs and has run various acclaimed restaurants. One of his restaurants, Country, which he co-owned with two others whom we will not name here, closed in 2008. Not only did that restaurant close, but it apparently bred legal disputes with Zakarian as a target.

The famous chef was being sued by former employees in a class-action lawsuit for back pay and violations of wage and labor laws. His former restaurant partners backed the employee suit. That potentially expensive lawsuit, however, has hit a snag.

If the target of a lawsuit has no money with which to pay off plaintiffs, then the case could wind up at a dead end. Last month, Zakarian filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means that his former employees’ hopes for one million plus dollars from the chef could be squashed. The bankruptcy filing places a temporary hold on the litigation and collection attempts.

In the meantime, Zakarian can concentrate on his other ongoing projects, like “The Next Iron Chef.” Hopefully, he can cook up a future free from debt and legal stress. Bankruptcy can be that fresh start that someone needs.

Source

The Seattle Times: “Star chef, facing a suit, files for bankruptcy,” Nick Fox, 28 Apr. 2011