Chef at top Abergavenny restaurant, The Hardwick, denies throwing fish guts
Updated 10:26am Friday 2nd May 2014 in News
A CHEF who works at an Abergavenny restaurant at the centre of sexual discrimination allegations denied claims that he threw fish guts at a teenage pastry chef while they were both employed there.
Jamie O'Leary, 32, senior chef at the award winning restaurant the Hardwick, which is owned by Stephen Terry, told the employment tribunal yesterday at Caradog House in Cardiff, that he wouldn't have thrown sea bass at Chloe Maisey, 19, from Pontyclun during her time working with him last year.
He said: "A sea bass is about £25 a kilo. If Stephen Terry caught wind that I was throwing a £100 fish around the kitchen I would be out of the door. I wouldn't do that.
"No fish had been thrown at Chloe, I wouldn't be in the position I am at the Hardwick if I acted in this manner."
Mr O'Leary claims the incident was 'blown out of proportion' and that he had merely gestured with the fish's head.
Miss Maisey, of Pontyclun, has brought 21 allegations relating to when she worked at the restaurant until August last year. The teenager claims that Mr O'Leary threw a mouse at her, a claim which he denies.
The teenager claims that she was forced to use the same changing room as her male colleagues due to there being boxes restricting the shower cubicle. The hearing heard that there is a unisex toilet and shower cubicle which has a window.
Charlotte Hilling, who is in charge with human resources at the Hardwick, said: "Chloe never came to me to say she had a problem with the changing.
"Previously other female members of staff never had any problems changing, they used the shower cubicle. There is a window but you couldn't see directly into it."
Miss Maisey alleges a string of upsetting pranks were played on her which includes sticking her car keys to the wall and tricking the vegetarian into tasting beef sauce after being told it was chocolate.
Andrew Fellows, former chef at the Hardwick, said: "All three of us were laughing, Chloe attempted to get the keys and Jamie decided that it was unsafe for her so I got the stick to retrieve them.
"It was just a bit of light-hearted fun that escalated. It's part of the kitchen banter, a bit of fun not meant in any malicious way. She used to hide things as well, pens and things like that."