Celebrity chef Jason Atherton involved in bar fight in the Philippines after his 17-year-old daughter was harassed

Michelin-starred celebrity chef Jason Atherton was involved in a fight in a restaurant in Cebu, Philippines that left him with two black eyes.

Atherton and his wife and daughter were dining at the F Cafe and Bar when the altercation happened in the early morning of Dec 24. The chef was said to have been defending his 17-year-old daughter who was being harassed by some men while she stood in line for the restroom.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia wrote about the incident in detail in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Dec 28). In a photo she posted, where she was pictured with the 51-year-old chef, Atherton was seen with two black eyes.

She wrote that the chef was beaten up and that the bouncers from the restaurant held him down so he couldn’t fight back. Her post also alleged that the female manager joined in the fight and provided a bottle for the men to use to beat up Atherton and that the manager was condemning all foreigners as troublemakers during the fight.

Garcia further wrote that the fight started when some men harassed Atherton’s daughter while she was queuing for the restroom. When Atherton asked them to apologise, they “all ganged up on him”.  

In its initial statement posted on Facebook, the restaurant “strongly” denied that their bouncers and one of the managers had joined the attack. In a follow-up statement, it said its management was cooperating with “local authorities and local enforcement units in their investigations”, adding that it joined the governor “in recognizing and protecting the integrity and good name of Cebu as a welcome destination for foreign visitors, and that this incident is isolated and unfortunate”.

Atherton opened several restaurants in Singapore while he was with the Unlisted Collection group, namely Esquina at Jiak Chuan Road, Pollen at the Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay, as well as two bars in Keong Saik Road: The Study and The Library. He left the Singapore restaurant scene in 2016.

His flagship Pollen Street Social restaurant in London earned a Michelin star within six months of its opening in 2011.

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