HOUSTON – World-famous chef Omar Pereney is back to feeding Houston and helping restaurants perfect their menus after a settlement with his former employer who had refused to release him from a non-compete agreement.
Mr. Pereney, a prodigy who starred on a Latin American cooking show when he was a young teenager, is thrilled his lawyer Ashish Mahendru took the unusual and aggressive step of filing suit to free him from a non-compete clause invoked by his former employer, Houston’s Peska Seafood Culture restaurant.
“Thanks to my lawyers I can cook in Houston kitchens again, and I can use my own name and likeness again,” said the grateful chef, whose prior employer tried to stop him from using his own name and photo for business purposes.
Mr. Mahendru, founder of commercial litigation firm Mahendru P.C., said most employees faced with non-compete agreements don’t have the resources or knowledge to fight back. Mr. Mahendru represented Mr. Pereney for free and filed the case in May 2017.
“Anyone who has ever enjoyed a meal prepared by Omar knows that he is a gift to the Houston culinary scene. It’s been far too long since this city was able to enjoy his work. The lawsuit is over, Peska is out of business, and Omar is cooking for Houston. Everything we could have hoped for,” said Mr. Mahendru, who was assisted by Mahendru P.C. attorney Darren Braun in negotiating the settlement.
Mr. Pereney has since joined A’la Carte Foodservice Consulting Group as a culinary specialist working with restaurants in Houston, New York, Louisiana and Belize. He also writes about food for a Venezuelan newspaper in Houston. He has worked as an adviser for the Houston Food Bank and hopes to return to television and perhaps write a book.
“It’s fantastic to again be promoting fresh cooking and terrific-tasting food. It’s time to get back to some serious cooking,” Mr. Pereney said.
The Houston Chronicle wrote about this news in the story “Houston restaurant’s closure after Harvey ends chef’s legal fight,” Houstonia magazine covered the case in “Omar Pereney Is Free to be Himself Again In Houston Kitchens,” the Houston Business Journal wrote about the matter in “Peska restaurant settles lawsuit with former chef, ” and Eater.com covered the case in the story “Chef Omar Pereney Can Cook Again After Winning Legal Battle With Peska Seafood Culture.”
Mahendru P.C. is a boutique commercial litigation firm whose attorneys are known for their tenacity, intelligence and experience. Founded in 2001, the firm has a simple philosophy: “Your problem is our problem. We adopt it, understand it and solve it.” Their objective is to resolve every case in the best, fastest and most cost-efficient manner possible. To learn more, visit https://www.thelitigationgroup.com/.