Biarritz, December 29: Aurelien Largeau, a renowned French chef with a Michelin star to his name, has abruptly resigned from his position at the prestigious Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, southwestern France. His departure follows a disturbing incident involving a kitchen hand that has sparked a criminal investigation.

NDTV reported that the Bayonne public prosecutor’s office has initiated a preliminary inquiry into allegations of sexual assault and violence, according to prosecutor Jerome Bourrier. The incident, which was captured on video and briefly circulated online, reportedly involved a kitchen hand being tied naked to a chair for hours during an initiation ritual. The footage has since been removed from the internet. ‘Almost Naked’ Party in Russia: Rapper Jailed After Semi-Nude Party At Moscow Nightclub Sparks Outrage.

Largeau, 31, was present during the incident, which took place under his authority, according to regional daily Sud Ouest. The Hyatt, the hotel’s owner, has been informed of the incident and has launched its own investigation. Naked Man in Las Vegas Steals Patrol Vehicle After Assaulting Police Officer, Crashes It Into Another Car; Video Goes Viral.

A spokesperson for the Hyatt stated, “This incident does not reflect the values that we defend. The safety, health, and well-being of our colleagues, clients, and partners are absolute priorities for us.”

Despite hazing being illegal under French law, reports suggest that such practices persist in French restaurants, often justified as a test of a junior staff’s ability to handle job pressures. In response to such incidents, several campaigns have been launched in recent years by cooking professionals to combat violence in kitchens, including “Hands off my Kitchen Hand” and “Respect your Kitchen”.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 29, 2023 12:17 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website