Word broke today that former Yardbird Southern Kitchen and Bar chef Jeff McInnis and 50 Eggs and Yardbird owner, John Kunkel, got in somewhat of a "foodie fist fight" at the South Beach Wine and Food after party on Thursday, February 25, with Kunkel threatening to "sue."
While it’s shocking for some, those in the industry know there is no love lost between the two. Here’s a breakdown of how they went from restaurants friends to foes.
2011 — McInnis is Tapped For Yardbird
McInnnis is tapped as "chef and partner" of 50 Eggs' new Southern fare concept, Yardbird and the project debuts to much acclaim.
Image credit: 50 Eggs
2012 to Mid-2013 – The Awards Come Rolling In
July 2013 – Trouble in Paradise
After nearly two years, word comes out that McInnis is departing from Yardbird to "take some time with his family," Kunkel says in a statement. He also says, "we support him in this mutual decision to take some time for himself and his family and look forward to possibly doing another project with him in the future."
Image credit: Miami New Times
August 2013 — Both Sides Are Sticking With The "Amicable" Story
It still seems like a mutual split between McInnis and 50 Eggs a month later when McInnis sits down with Short Order and tells them the reason he left Yardbird was because he "wanted to 'get back to why [he] fell in love with this industry in the first place" and that "Yardbird will always be very special to me, and a place I'll forever call home."
Image credit: Miami New Times
September 2013 – I Was "Kunkled"
Chef Bee files a suit against his former employer, 50 Eggs Group, and gives the Miami restaurant industry a new term – Kunkled, which according to the motion means:
"To Kunkel" is acquiring a hire - liar - fire cache in the Miami restaurant business, as that appears to be 50 Eggs' pattern with its executive chefs: to hire them, accuse them of lying, and then fire them (or cause them to quit)."
Rumors start swirling that McInnis was also "Kunkled" right before Yardbird began expansion into other markets like Las Vegas. Nothing is ever confirmed though — but that doesn't stop chefs from voicing their opinions about the situation on Twitter.
Image credit: Miami.com
2014 – McInnis and Booth Take NYC
The duo, that now confirm to press that they are indeed an item, open up Root & Bone in NYC.
Image credit: Root & Bone
2016—The Return To The 305 and the "Foodie Fist Fight"
Reports surface that a fight breaks out between the two at the official after party at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival at the Natuilus Hotel just days before McInnis opens his new Miami restaurant, The Sarsaparilla Club.
Page Six reports that it was Kunkel who started it, "saying he was going to sue him and ruin his restaurants. He was saying he was going to make his life a living hell."
Image credit: Getty/The Sarsaparilla Club
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