Ex-Partners Put Celeb Chef in Hot Water

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Celebrity chef Tyler Florence aced his business partners out of a restaurant they developed together, the former partners claim in Superior Court.
     Florence has hosted several shows on the Food Network.
     Plaintiffs Michael and Hani Musleh dba HLC Enterprises, and Martel and Nabiel Inc. dba M&N Promotions claim that Florence asked for help with the start-up, branding and promotion of Bar Florence, a restaurant that would feature Florence's "classic American cuisine."
     The plaintiffs say that nearly a year into the lease, but before the restaurant opened, the landlord defaulted and the shenanigans began.
     They claim that Florence and his lawyers created a new entity that opened a substantially similar restaurant 13 blocks away.
     "Wayfare Tavern features the same classic Americana cuisine in an upscale 'old San Francisco' downtown setting as had been planned for Bar Florence," the complaint states.
     The derivative complaint for breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence and breach of contract also claims that the law firms Eisenberg Tanchum & Levy and Davis Wright Tremaine failed to disclose the conflicts posed by representing Florence before and after the plaintiffs' involvement as part of an ongoing attorney-client relationship.
     In addition to Florence and the law firms, defendants include Tyfood Media Inc. and 940 Sutter Restaurant.
     The plaintiffs seek restitution of the money they invested in 940 Sutter Restaurant, an accounting and disgorgement of "secret profits/and or undisclosed benefits received by the defendants," and other damages.
     They are represented by Eric Miller with Miller Hauser of San Francisco.