III Forks Steak House owner Dale Wamstad (a.k.a. Del Frisco) has taken his long-running community property battle with his ex-wife Lena Rumore to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Rumore has been fighting since late 1995 to get a piece of the $22.7 million that Wichita, Kansas-based Lone Star Steak & Saloon paid for Del Frisco's steak house, a restaurant concept Rumore claims she helped Wamstad found in New Orleans and in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1980s. In 1992, Wamstad and Rumore reached a settlement agreement following their 1987 divorce whereby Wamstad forked over a cash settlement of $45,000. But in late 1995, less than two months after the deal closed with Lone Star, Rumore filed a damage suit against Wamstad seeking to nullify their 1992 community property settlement, charging that Wamstad concealed the true value and ownership of his assets. Wamstad was able to derail that suit in February of last year, arguing that her consent to the 1992 agreement, which swept into his pocket the Del Frisco's assets later transferred to Lone Star, nullified her pursuit of any further claims. In April 1999, Rumore struck back and filed an appeal, and in February of this year, a Louisiana appellate court reversed the lower district court's ruling. "Smoke and mirrors are not enough, although the Court of Appeals hinged its decision on just that," states Wamstad's Supreme Court appeal. "The Court of Appeals decision is bereft of any genuine disputes of material fact. It references only 'suspicion' and a 'tangled web' of depositions and affidavits." Wamstad and Rumore's battle was detailed in the March 16 Dallas Observer cover story "Family man." Wamstad sued the Observer over the article last week, claiming the story defamed him.
Maybe Avner Samuel and Marc Haines aren't the real peripatetic chefs in Dallas. Maybe the real toque rambler is Jason Gorman. Gorman's claim to Dallas fame emerged when he was executive chef of The Grape. That notoriety swept him into the kitchen at AquaKnox. Last November he ditched that helm and moved in with the M Crowd to work at The Mercury. Now he's dropping The Mercury. "I'm just trying to see if everyone's on their toes," deadpans Gorman. "I'm trying to hit all of the Dallas spots before the year 2010." The next spot hop will place him at City Café, where he'll assume the executive chef post the early part of next week. Tim Bevins, executive sous chef at The Mercury, will be bumped up to chef de cuisine, Gorman's old slot. In other M Crowd shuffles, Hal Parsons has replaced executive chef Kenny Mills at Ellington's Southern Chop House in Fort Worth.
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