A kitchen assistant who claimed she was knocked over and injured in a “frenetic” pop-up kitchen linked to TV chef Giorgio Locatelli has lost her bid for a £12,000 payout.
Hannah Williams, 52, was working in a branch of Locanda Locatelli at a special VIP art event in London back in 2015 when she says a rushing colleague barged into her, leaving her with an injured knee.
Claiming it took three years to recover, Ms Williams took the chef’s company Findcharm Limited to court to seek compensation.
She insisted the “frenetic” kitchen culture created health and safety breaches and an unsafe workplace.
But Judge Caroline Wilkinson rejected her damages bid at Central London County Court, saying Mrs Williams had failed to prove that her colleague did “shove or barge” her on the day of her fall, either deliberately or accidentally.
According to the Daily Mail, which reported on the case, the Locanda Locatelli pop-up turned over 600 covers a day and was described as a “busy kitchen environment” by a company representative.
Ms Williams said there were 10 chefs and between 15 and 20 people working in the kitchen in total.
“The waiters were coming in and out,” she told the judge. “I was told scream at them to make them go faster: tell them to ‘run, run’. I was told that more than once. I didn’t do it because I didn’t think it was safe in a small kitchen.”
Mrs Williams claimed the colleague she said knocked her was “running back and forth a lot.”
However, the paper reported that the colleague she said had run into her denied her claim, telling the judge: “I played no part in causing her to fall. I never run in the kitchen, even when I am busy.”
Representatives for Locanda Locatelli denied there was “a culture that everybody was supposed to run” in the kitchen.
Judge Wilkinson dismissed the claim, saying Mrs Williams had not proven that the accident happened in the way she described or that the pop-up kitchen was not safe to work in.
“It must be frenetic in a kitchen…all restaurants are like this. We could be awash with claims,” she said.