Chris Painter, the decorated chef at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Fishtown who was suspended over sexual-harassment allegations, is no longer with the restaurant, according to a Philadelphia Magazine report.
In an interview with the magazine, one of the women — Marqessa Gesualdi, a former Mulherin’s pastry chef — described it “like walking into an episode of Mad Men — the way that they view women, talk about women, treat women. I was the only woman in that kitchen for a couple months. … Everybody thinks [Chris Painter] is so great, but nobody knows what it’s like to work for him.”
In a statement released to Philly Mag announcing Painter’s ouster, Mulherin’s co-owners Randall Cook and David Grasso said, “We are committed to being a leader in the industry with regard to employee well-being and workplace culture which are of the upmost importance to us.” Two managers and a server also were let go, the statement said.
Cook, Grasso, and Painter have not responded to requests from comment from The Inquirer — even refusing to answer the simple question of Painter’s replacement.
A source said chef de cuisine John Taus was promoted to executive chef. He effectively has been running the kitchen since last summer, when the harassment allegations began to gain traction and Painter’s work hours were limited. Ed Pinello, who worked for Painter at his previous restaurant, Il Pittore, is now chef de cuisine.
Meanwhile, any publicity about the scandal apparently has not affected business dramatically. The restaurant’s dinner reservations through the Resy service are as difficult to obtain as before.