Top Chef star Lindsay Autry walked off her Palm Beach gig as executive chef of the Omphoy Ocean Resort‘s chi-chi restaurant after she objected to the way billionaire owner Jeff Greene and his family treated her and her staff, Gossip Extra has learned.
Hotel employees who asked to remain anonymous told me Autry, 29, whose good-looking foods and good looks have made her a fan favorite on the pre-recorded current season of the Bravo hit reality series, hung up her apron after Greene, his wife Mei, their two children and two nannies moved into six suites at the Omphoy.
Greene and his tribe are expected to be occupying the suites while his $24 million-mansion is being re-modeled.
Omphoy employees called Gossip Extra to report that Greene behaves like the resort is his personal playground, not the high-class joint it’s supposed to be. He reportedly treats workers from tenant businesses such as the restaurant and the spa like his own domestic staff.
“The area where he lives and Lindsay’s kitchen are close,” said one source who asked that her name be withheld, “so Jeff and his wife often walk in like they own the place and try to tell Lindsay what to do. The Greenes have even tried to fire waiters when it’s really none of their business. Jeff even showed up in the kitchen with bare feet.”
In fact, Autry works for famed Miami chef Michelle Bernstein, who has a management contract with the Omphoy. Bernstein announced this week she’s severing all ties with the resort at the end of the month. It’s unclear what will happened with the restaurant that now bears her name.
No one is commenting on whether Autry hitting the road had anything to do with Bernstein’s decision. Neither returned calls. Larry Carrino, Bernstein’s publicist, would only say that Autry decided to take “well deserved” time off.
“Chef Lindsay is no longer at the Omphoy,” Carino said, declining to provide more details.
Autry’s departure, meanwhile, could constitute a major embarrassment for Greene.
The current season of Top Chef, which was taped mostly in the summer, is two months from its finale. If Autry wins, the Omphoy would be unable to capitalize on her popularity.
A receptionist said Greene isn’t available for comment because he is out-of-town. Omphoy GM Henry Ball didn’t return calls.