As we first reported on Friday, chef Michael Dei Maggi is no longer with Delicious Concepts, parent company of Dragon Bowl, where the chef was reworking the casual Asian concept.
Hired back in April, Dei Maggi announced via Facebook:
"I have recently signed on as a partner at Delicious Concepts (parent company of Lola, Pinks Pizza, and Dragon Bowl). Currently reworking the Dragon Bowl...expanding hours, remodel, new menu with more of a focus on pan-asian street food."
So what had him packing in such a short time?
Dei Maggi told Eater, "I'm not gonna take the blame for this one," in reference to why he left yet another Houston-area restaurant within a short time frame.
Dei Maggi explained that he had been hired (as he announced back in April) as a partner in Delicious Concepts, which never came to fruition.
"I thought they wanted one thing, but in reality, they wanted something very different," said Dei Maggi, who went on to speculate that his hiring was meant to temporarily inflate sales numbers at Dragon Bowl.
He also claims he was hired thinking that the position would be a long-term plan with him serving as the executive chef over all the Delicious Concept enterprises - Lola, Dragon Bowl and Pink's Pizza. None of which panned out, but considering the time frame, that part of his departure is not necessarily a surprise.
So what does Delicious Concepts have to say about Dei Maggi's strong accusations?
"It's absolutely false what Michael is saying," said Ken Bridge, owner of Delicious Concepts, but also added, "I hope the best for Michael."
Bridge also made it clear that the company is going strong, telling us that Dragon Bowl recently celebrated year five and that Delicious Concepts, between all their restaurants, employs around 200 people.
So why did Dei Maggi's career at Dragon Bowl fizzle so quickly?
Bridge simply answered, "our agreement didn't work out."
· Dei Maggi no Longer with Dragon Bowl [EHTX]