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Alyn Williams

Alyn Williams Wiki

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A Michelin-starred chef who was fired after letting children play a ‘silly’ game of soccer at a five-star hotel restaurant in Mayfair won a wrongful termination case.

Award-winning Alyn Williams was fired after hosting a private party in which she set up a makeshift field, with goals and a net, in the elegant facility.

Two young children were filmed on CCTV kicking a ball, fighting each other, jumping, diving and headstands on hotel furniture, where rooms cost up to £ 4,500 a night.

They were also recorded drinking directly from a sauce bottle and scooping sugar cubes from bowls set out for guests.

A labor court heard that Williams, a former winner of the National Chef of the Year award, was suspended by his bosses at the hotel for gross misconduct and ultimately fired.

However, a judge has ruled that he was unfairly fired because he had previously been allowed to hold private parties at the restaurant, and he had done so 61 times previously.

The father of two children is now in line for compensation.

Award-winning Alyn Williams in 2019, was fired after hosting a private party in which he set up an improvised pitch, complete with goals and a net, in the fine dining establishment

It was said at the hearing in central London that Williams, a 36-year veteran of the restaurant business, was recruited to Westbury in 2010 after the owner, billionaire Azad Cola, ate his meal at Marcus Wareing in Berkley. , where he was the chef.

The Cola family regarded the Westbury as the “crown jewel” in their luxury hotel empire, and within two years their eponymous restaurant had earned a Michelin star, an accolade he only lost once he was fired.

The court heard that in July 2019 he organized a private lunch for his friends and family.

“He brought his food and drinks and used the restaurant’s kitchen to cook,” the court was told.
‘Before starting in the kitchen, (he) installed a makeshift soccer goal in the main area of ​​the restaurant, using two armchairs from the restaurant and a small net that he had brought with him.

“Two boys started playing with a small soft ball and kicked it towards the makeshift goals.

“Her game of him included the following activities: jumping over the net; kick and throw the ball against the walls and ceiling; fighting for the ball and chasing each other around the restaurant; diving onto the sofa bench to catch the ball, which was next to the tables set for breakfast; take a running jump to the sofa bench; fighting with each other on the sofa-bench; doing a headstand on the couch bench.

One of the boys took a small bottle of Tabasco sauce from the bar and drank some of the sauce by dipping it into his mouth.

Two young boys were filmed on CCTV kicking a ball around, wrestling each other, and jumping, diving and performing headstands on the furniture of the hotel, where rooms cost up to £4,500 a night

The other boy on 14 separate occasions took, by hand, and ate lumps of sugar from the sugar bowls on the tables set for breakfast.

“On one of those occasions he took a sugar cube after wiping his nose and on another occasion after scratching his groin through his pants.”

The court heard that Williams had been allowed to host similar events in his nine years at the restaurant without seeking prior approval from bosses.

However, after Cola expressed anger at what happened, hotel managers issued disciplinary proceedings for Williams and fired him for holding the event without his permission.

Court Judge Pavel Klimov described the disciplinary proceedings as a “side show” and concluded that the managers were acting because of what Mr. Cola wanted and not because Mr. Williams was guilty of misconduct.

The court was informed that the hotel delayed the announcement of his dismissal until after the publication of the Michelin Guide in November, because they feared that the restaurant would lose its star once his departure was made public, a result that eventually occurred.

Although he found that Mr. Williams had been unfairly fired, Judge Klimov said the chef was partly to blame.

‘I find that (his) conduct, insofar as it relates to him allowing children to play in the restaurant with a soccer ball and facilitating it by setting impromptu goals and not supervising them properly, allowing them to participate in other Activities that could reasonably be considered reprehensible in that setting (scooping sugar cubes out of sugar bowls from tables set for breakfast, jumping, wrestling, and headlong on the sofa-bench) was guilty.

The five-star Mayfair hotel The Westbury is owned by the Marriott group

“ I think it was beyond the scope of his permission to use the restaurant to host private events, it was disrespectful and offended the restaurant owners. The claimant admits that it was ‘nonsense’.

However, he added that it was not the boys’ fault.

“I think his behavior in the restaurant was nothing out of the ordinary and it would not have looked unusual in two young children at home getting a little bored while their parents entertained the guests,” he said.

In conclusion, Judge Klimov said: ‘The real reason for (his) dismissal was because the management … received direct instructions from Mr. Cola to dismiss (him) or they had understood that Mr. Cola wanted the plaintiff to be fired.

‘I think (they) had no reasonable reason to believe that (he) was guilty of the misconduct. It was known … that (he) had been using the restaurant for private events and those events involved children playing in the restaurant. ‘

Mr. Williams’ compensation will be decided at a later hearing.

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