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Chicken schnitzel mystery: chef ordered to pay $70,000

October 3, 2014 Food & Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A mystery concerning the disappearance of tens of thousands of chicken schnitzels has led to a popular hotel’s former head chef being ordered to pay AUD 70,000 in damages.

The bizarre schnitzel case was outlined by the Illawarra Mercury newspaper. A former cook at the North Wollongong Hotel was found to have on-sold schnitzels at a higher cost and pocketed the profit.

The findings were made in Sydney’s Federal Circuit Court last week after former chef, Kobina Amponsem, sued his employer, Laundy Pty Ltd, over AUD 11,000 in unpaid annual leave, the paper reported.

The hotel said it had withheld the money to partially recoup its losses for a discrepancy it claimed involved more than AUD 20,000 worth of schnitzels, invoiced but never delivered.

Judge Nicholas Manousaridis found Amponsem had been bulk-buying chicken schnitzels for years at about AUD 1.80 each and on-selling them to the pub for between AUD 2.80 and AUD 2.90.

The company doing the on-selling was owned by Amponsem’s wife, the court heard.

Judge Manousaridis said Amponsem’s actions had breached his employment contract.

“[He] placed himself in a position where his duty to his employer conflicted with his own interest …”.

The cook had been profiting by AUD 1 per schnitzel.

There was a quiche component as well. It was alleged Amponsem had invoiced the hotel for AUD 20,622 worth of schnitzel and AUD 5910 worth of quiche that were never delivered.

Amponsem denied the claims.

A local court hearing in November 2012 cleared Amponsem of fraud charges but last week, Judge Manousaridis ordered him to pay $72,838.60 in damages.

Written by : Peter Needham

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