New Orleans chef Susan Spicer suing BP
June 29th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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Famed New Orleans chef Susan Spicer is suing BP on behalf of at least seven restaurant owners and seafood suppliers, claiming that the Gulf oil spill has damaged their businesses.

“I’m proud to be part of a resilient community,” she said. “I also feel strongly that [BP] needs to be held accountable for its negligence.”

Spicer is an icon in the food world. She’s been a Top Chef judge, a James Beard “Best Chef” winner and even inspired a character featured in the HBO’s series Treme, a drama about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Spicer spends her days between several of her Gulf bistros. Her acclaimed Dauphin Street restaurant, Bayona, serves grilled shrimp paired with black bean cake and oysters mixed with Italian sausage gratin with spinach. Her latest venture Mondo, a no nonsense family-style joint, began watering mouths in May with its signature fish tacos.

“I have great confidence in my local vendors and the local products that I am serving,” she said. “But I know my suppliers are suffering from the reality of a diminished supply and the perception that all Gulf seafood is unsafe.”

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded April 20, is also named in the suit.

The other restaurant owners and suppliers in the litigation are not named.

New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse is not one of them, according to his public relations spokesperson.

There are more than 200 lawsuits pending against BP over the spill.

Researchers have estimated that between 35,000 barrels (about 1.5 million gallons) and 60,000 barrels (about 2.5 million gallons) of oil are gushing into the ocean every day.

As of midnight Sunday, 438,000 barrels of oil had been collected, BP said.

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Filed under: Food Politics • News • Oil Spill

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Paul

    I second that. I wrote in also this morning and have still not seen my post. They don't want to know the truth. People would rather believe lies. Susan Spicer need to worry more keeping her business open and keep the locals coming into support her restaurant. I won't be going back to her restaurants since she feels the need to not support and give all the facts about the seafood being limited.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  2. Michele Konnecker

    Why on earth can't we post my comments that I wrote in this morning. What's the matter you don't want people to know the truth. Ms. Susan Spicer can get product she choices not to.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  3. donna

    You restaurant owners along the gulf..quit complaining. The fishermen are really hurting not you. You chefs are capable of cooking other types of food. People will still eat at your restaurants because tourists will still come to the Gulf to watch the oil cleanup. I love seafood and it's a terrible shame that the fishing industry is now in terrible shape. But, I will do without during this crisis. Should I sue BP of obama because the oil spill happened and ruined my dinner.

    June 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  4. deltavilleoysters

    The oyster industry isn't dead, it just moved.

    The best Chesapeake Bay Oysters are grown on our family farm!

    June 30, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  5. shawn

    BP is into green energy big time. They make great PV panels that I would love to put on my house. A lot of their gas stations here in Florida are topped with PV panels to help power their stations. It is sad but I am afraid that Gulf Seafood is a thing of the past. I imagine that nobody will trust seafood any more nor the restaurants that serve it. I am afraid many of them will close. Think of Red Lobster. I won't go there. Raw Oysters are (were) the best. Very sad.

    June 30, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  6. DANA

    oh and to Susan, She should get a resonable amount to help her,but alot of people are taking advantage as well and they too are being greedy.

    June 30, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  7. DANA

    Tell the families of the ones that lost their loved ones that it wasnt bp fault. tell the people who depend on fishing to keep working to feed their families that its not bp fault. tell the birds and fish and all other animals and creatures that have died and suffered.Wake up! Yes accidents do happen,thats why we take all saftey measures first so that if simething like this happens then we can say that all preventive measures possiable were taken to make us feel better and not have to point fingers. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE HERE! Large companys like this get greedy and then more greedy. Then all they see is profit numbers and money in there pockets,cutting corners to have even more money...cutting saftey to the hard working man thats making them rich. so is it bp fault? Hell yell !!!!! and people need to stop putting blame on our president.

    June 30, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  8. El Gordo

    Conservative southerners have been arguing for tort reform for a long time. At first, being a good Liberal, I was opposed to capping claims for damage. I thought that sometimes corporate negligence and medical malpractice needed the fear of litigation to rein them in. But, after reading what many Conservatives have to say about it, I have changed my mind. Their arguments now make more sense to me. We Texans have capped awards for medical malpractice. Surveys show that the cost of medical care in Texas has not gone down as a result, but that is probably another Liberal lie.

    I realize now that every redneck in the South will be moving to the coast to get on the gravy train. I'm sure they will drink coffee at McDonald's so they can later say that their hands were shaking so much with stress over the oil spill that they spilled hot coffee on their laps. That way, they can sue both McDonald's for the coffee spill and BP for the oil spill. I heard somewhere – I think it was on Fox News - that many southerners are going to the beach, and pouring a can of BP oil all over themselves, and they then they fall down on the sand screaming, "The oil! The oil! It burns! It burns! Oh, the pain and suffering! Oh, the mental anguish!"

    I say let's enact tort reform NOW! Cap all damage claims at $10,000. That should keep them in corn dogs and RC Cola for a month or two. After that, they can move to Arizona and pick crops.

    This may sound tough, but as so many Conservatives have told me so many times, "Nobody ever said life was going to be fair."

    June 30, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  9. Jim Oremland

    I see a lot of lemmings in here espousing the company line.
    Barthliko said it best, go for all the profits you want but when you screw someone up, you're responsible. Period.
    It's all about the money, folks.
    Susan Spicer is right on.

    June 30, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  10. Jerry

    Litigation.....sitll the best way to get money you don't deserve!!!! I was thinking about buying some Gulf seafood but now I won't be able to afford it....where's my claim form? Crap happens, adapt or die.

    June 30, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  11. NoDoubt

    To those of you blaming society for its oil dependence: I went 2 years without a car. Still used oil because I used the city bus system, taxis, paid for friends to give me a ride, etc. I think I spent more oil in trying to take 6 buses a day than if I had a vehicle of my own to simply drive from point A from point B.

    June 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  12. yomamma

    we can send a man to the moon but cant stop this oil from gushing out..only the size of a dinner plate ..hmmmm

    June 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • El Gordo

      You are right. The best brains in the industry using the best equipment and an unlimited budget cannot cap that well. No one on earth can cap that well. I hope the relief wells work!

      June 30, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  13. andromeda

    See The issue won't be solved by the politicians. It's up to us.

    June 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  14. Juan Tx.

    YES! i put in my two cents. now lets wait and see if anybody gives a shiz.

    June 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  15. Juan Tx.

    i wonder if she'll split the cash with the restaurants near the gulf in these states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. share the wealth. im sure they're suffering a little bit from this mess. :P

    June 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  16. OU812

    Obama is writing post dated, two party, out of state checks that his body can't cash.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
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