Photo of Stefano Tedeschi via Stefano's Grill
A self-proclaimed celebrity chef from Central Florida is suing Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, claiming that the football player didn't pay for nearly $40,000 worth in privately prepared meals.
The suit, filed in Osceola County Circuit Court, names Orange County resident Stefano Tedeschi, known as the "Sports Chef," as the plaintiff.
The contested meals date back to the Pro Bowl weekend in Osceola County in 2018. Tedeschi and Brown agreed the chef would prepare three breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners between Jan. 26 and Jan. 28 at Brown's vacation property at Reunion Resort, according to the suit.
It was a verbal agreement arranged through a mutual friend, said
Frederic Waczewski, Tedeschi's attorney. When the chef sent an invoice on Jan. 28, 2018, the $38,521.20 asked for went unpaid, the suit stated.
Waczewski said he has been negotiating with legal representatives for Brown for eight months to a year to find some recourse. They couldn't agree on a price, with representatives seeking to pay less than half of the invoice, he said.
"They definitely wanted to pay something," Waczewski said by phone Thursday. "We waited a long time in good faith, but it came to a point where we had to get something filed."
In an interview with ESPN
, Tedeschi said he'd cooked for players without any issues, including former Florida State University quarterback and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
"I've cooked for countless NFL superstars and celebrities," Tedeschi told ESPN. "Never once have I had one problem [until this]. My food is so good, and my mannerisms in someone's home is second to none."
The whole deal came to $38,521.20 when you add in taxes, the daily assistant chef fee, daily service managers fee, daily guest services assistance fee, and what the suit calls the "daily celebrity fee."
The celebrity fee is $5,000 per day. Breakfasts went for $50 per person, lunch was $65 a head, and dinner was $112 per person, according to the invoice listed in court documents.
The suit states Tedeschi and his staff made breakfast and lunch for 15 people on Jan. 26, and a special dinner that same day for 43 people, including other NFL players. The next day, the suit states, Tedeschi and his staff made breakfast for 15 people.
But by lunchtime, Brown allegedly demanded Tedeschi and his staff "leave the premises," right after he prepared lunch for 20 guests. He was not allowed to serve the food, the suit states.
It was apparently a rushed exit because the chef reportedly wasn't let back onto the property to get his kitchen equipment or the food that was already there, including filet mignon, shrimp and risotto.
It's not clear why the chef and staff were asked to leave, or why the food was not served. Tedeschi sent an invoice on Jan. 28, and has been seeking payment since.
Waczewski said "they never really hammered down what the issue was" but it was possible that the presence of a star-struck teenager – a son of a friend Tedeschi brought along to assist him – might have bothered Brown.
Darren Heitner, who represents Brown now but was not involved in the previous negotiations, did not respond to questions regarding the suit.
"We expect to be filing a motion to dismiss the complaint and will let the filing speak for itself," Heitner said in an emailed statement.
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