NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former restaurant manager featured on a new U.S. reality show with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is suing the hot-tempered British television star to stop the program from being broadcast.
"Kitchen Nightmares" -- in which Ramsay parachutes into failing restaurants for a week in a bid to fix them -- has been a success in Britain and is due to debut in the United States in September on the Fox network.
But according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, not all of those targeted by Ramsay, who has already tasted reality television show success in the United States with "Hell's Kitchen," walked away from the experience happy.
Martin Hyde, the former general manager of Dillons, an Indian restaurant in Manhattan's theater district, is asking a judge to block airing of the show, saying exaggerations about the restaurant's conditions will destroy its reputation and the good name of the people who worked there.
Ramsey filmed "Kitchen Nightmares" at Dillons in April and Hyde, who was fired on the show at Ramsey's behest, says the chef lied about finding rotten meat, hired actors to patronize the restaurant so it would appear Dillons had grown more popular since Ramsay's intervention and unfairly targeted Hyde to capture a confrontation on tape.
Hyde said he was blamed for the way the kitchen was run even though as general manager he had no control over the kitchen.
Dillons' owner, Muhammad Islam, declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the restaurant had improved since Ramsay's visit. A representative for Ramsay said that he has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.