Celebrity chef forced to close doors

A popular Gold Coast café run by Australian celebrity chef Ant Ewart has been forced to close its doors and been placed into liquidation.

Earth Purveyors of Fine Foods, run by Ant Ewart ceased trading over the first weekend in November, leaving local fans devastated.

The café has been open since 2017, with Mr Ewart, former head chef of Byron Bay’s Raes on Wategos and Macleay St Bistro in Sydney at the helm.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that ASIC documents show Mr Ewart had placed the company into voluntary administration, with Steven Kugel from Insolvency Experts appointed as liquidator.

Mr Kugel said health issues might be a clue as to why the business has folded.

“That’s our job, we have to get in there and unravel things and work out why the business has failed,” he said.

“I understand he is not well, so I think health reasons are part of the reasons why the business wasn’t viable. I believe there are also tax debts.”

He also said that there are at least 12 casual employees and several creditors who are owed money by the business.

“The Director has tried to do the right thing by them by placing the company into liquidation because he seriously has no money,” he said.

“Normally as a liquidator you come in and there is something there, but there is nothing available to us so he really has done them a favour.”

He said employees who are Australian citizens or permanent residents are entitled to claim unpaid wages and benefits under the Fair Entitlement Guarantee Scheme.

Mr Kugel said there were very few creditors owed money by the company.

“Incredibly, most of the amounts owed are quite tiny with the largest being around $3500 and that is to the bookkeeper,” he said.

A creditors meeting will be held on November 26.

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