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July 10, 2009

Philippe vs. Mr. Chow: culinary Hatfields and McCoys?


The tension between enemies and soon to be neighbors Philippe and Mr. Chow has gotten a lot more serious than we thought. According to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Florida Federal Court by Alan Kluger of Miami-based law firm Kluger Kaplan, restaurateur Mr. Chow is chop-suing nemesis Philippe Chow, whose eateries---including South Beach's Philippe--- Mr. Chow contends are a rip-off of his menus and his trademarked good name.  Michael Chow, the original Mr. Chow, has been furious with Chak Yam Chau ever since the former "food chopper" for Chow resigned in 2005, changed his name to Philippe Chow and opened restaurants in New York, according to the trademark-infringement lawsuit. According to Kluger, the final straw came in 2008, when Philippe opened a Miami outpost at the Gansevoort Hotel, 100 yards from a long-planned location that Mr. Chow will open next month at the W on South Beach. Said Kluger “Simply put, Philippe is just not who he says he is!  When Philippe resigned from his job as a food chopper (he was never a chef) in 2005, he signed his resignation as Phillip Chau.  He now goes by the new name Philippe Chow.  Furthermore, Philippe has purchased sponsored links on Google for "Mr. Chow" so that when the real MR. CHOW is searched for, Phillippe's name and link comes up as Mr. Chow.  Philippe is a fraud!”  Our request for a comment from the Philippe side of things has yet to be fulfilled.

Here's a link to download the 33 page complaint--a legal Chinese menu of sorts-- filed on July 8: Download M0648488