More mayhem at Milos; harassment claims fly following firings of executive sous chef, staffers

 

Behind-the-scenes drama at South of Fifth's swanky Greek restaurant

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By Lesley Abravanel | Lank@aol.com

Shortly after our May 21st post, On Chef Sean Bernal's hasty departure from Estiatorio Milos, in which several of the restaurant's staffers anonymously told us of stories about servers being mistreated, one who did not initially contact us but was allegedly pushed by owner Costas Spiliadis was eventually fired and has contacted an attorney along with another server that was also allegedly shoved by the owner and eventually fired. "I feel personally violated as I worked hard to help build the restaurant using my personal contacts," said Jeff Turgeau, who openly spoke with us about staff mistreatment and bullying.

"After the [Miami.com] article was published, it was widely and erroneously believed by the staff that I was the one that contacted the paper due to my connections from my previous catering/marketing career before joining the restaurant," said Turgeau. "Costas has gone on several extended hostile rants in which he suddenly stops, makes an intimidating/hate filled remark that he better watch what he says or else it will end up in the paper and then continues the rant. Many of the staff feel that he is trying to bully us into silence."

As for that wrongful termination, Turgeau says he was fired for "accidently putting part of an order on a similar table number that I didn’t open on a busy understaffed Friday night because I was distracted by the crazed owner who was running around the floor screaming at anyone he could find. I did catch and fix the mistake myself minutes later.” That said, Turgeau was fired and, he says, "There is a general agreement from the staff that I was wrongly terminated and several have offered to speak out with me."

On Thursday, the executive sous chef was fired in the middle of dinner service, Turgeau said. The chef, who was grilling a steak, was allegedly told by Spiliadis that "We won't be needing you any longer." 

Turgeau was also told that on Saturday night the restaurant had to comp almost $9,000 in food and beverage "because the kitchen and bar were so backed up due to Costas's firing so many people for no real reason."

Spiliadis sounds frustrated, but Milos remains on mute as no one on his end has responded to our multiple requests for comment. "His repeated rants of his disdain for people that work in the hospitality industry in Miami and how he wants to bring in staff from NY and Montreal have occurred so many times and with such intensity it's borderline racism to the folks proud to call South Florida home," says Turgeau.

Turgeau isn't happy with the outcomes, of course, saying "It's a shame. It really could have been a major player in Miami dining."

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