He’s cooking up a controversy.
The New York Post is reporting celebrity chef Madison Cowan has taken his rent off the table since the outset of the Covid 19 pandemic, and his landlord claiming he’s racked up more than $70,000 in debt.
Building owner Guy Sheha told the tabloid the “Chopped” and “Iron Chef” victor hasn’t paid rent on his one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment since January of 2020 — just three months after signing a since-expired two-year lease which guaranteed he’d pay between $2,700 to $2,750 a month for the space.
The British-born cook, who says on his website that he has catered events for such A-listers as Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry and Donna Karen as well as big-time politicians like former President Bill Clinton and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, claimed in an August e-mail to his landlord that he had been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to the report.
But Sheha said that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“He leaves his house wearing a different fur every day,” Sheha told the newspaper. “How broke can he be? If there was no Covid-19, I would have taken him to court two years ago to get him evicted.”
Renters affected by the pandemic were allowed by state law to not pay their rent during a moratorium period that ended on January 15. Since then, Sheha’s lawyer has sent Cowan a 90-day notice informing him he leave the premises by May 1 lest the landlord begin eviction proceedings.
Sheha’s claimed Cowan hasn’t responded and is worried that, with housing court so backlogged, Cowan will continue to get to live there rent-free.
Cowan, who has also appeared on such cooking-based shows as “Kitchen Casino” and “Beat Bobby Flay” while having served as a culinary council member for Food Bank For New York City, applied for the state’s rental assistance program last June, according to the report.
[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli