Bosses at a New York restaurant owned by Robert De Niro have denied plans to replace their head chef - after the cook threatened to take him to court.
Managers at De Niro's Ago restaurant reportedly intended to replace Executive Chef Mirco del Vecchio with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in January (09) amid poor reviews from food critics.
But del Vecchio says the alleged switch would violate both written and verbal contracts he has with De Niro.
His lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo tells the New York Post, "We're looking for damages in the $3 million (GBP2 million) area."
However, a manager at Ago denies the claims, adding: "It's absolutely not true that we are planning on replacing del Vecchio. He is a dear friend."