Chef Lilian Douchet, revealed during season 13 of Top chef in 2022, faces serious charges that led to his exclusion from his own restaurant in Bordeaux, the Lil’Home. The announcement was made by the establishment itself via a press release published on Instagram, Friday February 9, 2024. According to this message, the restaurant team took the radical decision to end its collaboration with the chef. The statement said: “On the evening of Saturday November 18, 2023, we decided to close the restaurant Lil’Home. The Lil’Home team refuses to work with chef Lilian Douchet because of his violent behavior towards them, his verbal abuse, his threats.” The employees considered the situation untenable, fearing for their physical and psychological integrity. The press release specifies, in fact: “We apologize again for the customers who had to endure the closure of the restaurant, but chef Lilian did not want to leave the premises and the employees were forced to protect themselves.” The main person concerned insisted on defending himself.
“I was used,” says Lilian Douchet
The Lil’Home restaurant also announced a change of chef, with Louis Becan taking over from Lilian Douchet for “offer new and daring cuisine”. This new chef was notably trained by Michel Guérard, three-starred. Lilian Douchet, for his part, vigorously contested the allegations made against him. In an interview with South West published Sunday February 11, 2024, the 31-year-old chef denounced a “handling” on the part of his co-shareholder, Aliaume Gonthier, also his cousin.
The former candidate of Top chef categorically denies any form of violence and threats, although he admits to sometimes raising his voice in the kitchen. It highlights his reputation for being tough and demanding, but always caring. The chef also explained that he had left the management of the establishment before the November incident and that the decision to close the restaurant had been taken before his arrival. “It makes me very sad that it has come to this. […] From the start, I invested fully, but very quickly, things got worse: my name was used, the dishes were changed in my absence, etc. I was used“he castigated our colleagues.