Riverdale marina owner tussles with head chef over wages, recipes
By Casey Toner email@example.com June 11, 2012 8:06PM
Updated: July 13, 2012 6:13AM
The head chef at Riverdale’s Dixie Star restaurant said the marina’s managing partner punched him in the face during a fight last week over the eatery’s recipes, police said.
Police said that Jose Aguirre, the Dixie Star kitchen chef, got into an argument with John Thomas on June 1 because he wasn’t paid. Thomas, a convicted felon, is an owner of the marina who formerly wore a wire in the Tony Rezko case. The marina and restaurant are located at 13100 S. Halsted St.
No one was charged in the incident because Thomas and Aguirre gave conflicting stories, police said.
This much is sure: Thomas and Aquirre were both in the kitchen Friday arguing over who owns the restaurant’s recipes.
According to police, Aguirre said Thomas went to talk with him in the kitchen about 9:15 p.m., while the restaurant was still open. Aguirre told police that Thomas grabbed a list of recipes off a shelf and then punched him in the face, police said. He said he then got the recipes away from Thomas and pushed him away.
Thomas, however, has a different version.
Thomas told police he confronted Aguirre because the chef was “not preparing the meals correctly” because he was upset about his pay. Aguirre got upset and threatened to quit and take his recipes with him, Thomas told police. When Thomas said the recipes belonged to the Dixie Star, they began to fight, Thomas told police.
The SouthtownStar previously reported that Riverdale gave $900,000 in taxpayer money to the company that took over the marina in August — Nosmo Kings — and promised to redevelop it.
Claiming the money is unaccounted for, the village has hired a firm to do a forensic audit of the company’s books. Contractors who worked on the development are claiming they are owed more than $180,000.
Anthony Bass, an attorney who represents the marina owners, declined to comment.