According to the Australian Associated Press (reporting May 16), star chef Miki Nozawa was killed as a result of an altercation with two men over a dish he had served them. Quoting from the popular German tabloid Bild-Zeitung, the men had accosted the 57-year-old Nozawa over "dishes they didn't like" that were served at the restaurant he was working at on the German holiday island of Sylt.
The AAP noted that the famed Japanese chef apparently died May 13 in the intensive care unit of the local hospital as a result of his injuries, according to a senior public prosecutor from the nearby town of Flensburg.
What dish was so ill-prepared as to spark violent outrage from two diners? Reportedly, it was a fried noodle dish made with beef and vegetables.
The Sylt Rundchau newspaper reported that the two disgruntled male diners demanded their money back and left the restaurant without paying.
Bild reported that the chef and the two unhappy diners met again later when they went into the table dance venue "Z1." The fight reignited and escalated. The alleged suspects were said to have been "intoxicated."
Nozawa's former wife told Sylt Rundchau that the chef died of severe brain injuries and internal bleeding.
A Huffington Post translation of the report quoted Nozawa's ex-wife as saying, "My ex-husband was not aggressive, absolutely good-natured man. He never would have started a fight." She said that Nozawa had been called "chink" by some on the island. "We see this as a racist act," she said.
The men were arrested and later released due to lack of evidence. The police are still questioning them, however.
Miki Nozawa was famed for his fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisine. Among his more notable celebrity patrons were Mikhail Gorbachev, Denzel Washington and Phil Collins.
The story ended a bit differently for an Australian chef in April when a group of patrons criticized the service at his restaurant. After a confrontation, everyone went outside the Lakemba restaurant in Sydney. The chef then went back inside the restaurant and returned with a metal skewer. He allegedly attacked one of the men with the skewer, piercing the man's hand. The chef was subsequently charged with reckless wounding.