Celebrity chef hunts down customer to call him ‘pathetic’ for disputing $250 cancellation fee — leading to death threats

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This restaurant beef has gone wildly viral.

A Boston celebrity chef is getting “bombarded with death threats” for tracking down a New Yorker to blast him as “pathetic” for refusing to pay a $250 cancellation fee — even after he pointed out he’d been hospitalized.

Big Apple tourism employee Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro shared screenshots of his exchange with TABLE owner Jen Royle — a “wild story” now viewed almost 24 million times on X by early Monday afternoon.

He said Royle left a bad taste by tracking him down last week — weeks after he’d been forced to cancel his reservation for a seven-course prix fixe dinner, using his credit card’s insurance to fight the mandatory $250 cancellation fee.

“Hi Trevor. I own TABLE restaurant in Boston. I just wanted to personally thank you for screwing over my restaurant and my staff when you disputed your cancellation fee,” Royle wrote in a message tweeted by the horrified customer.

“I really hope in the future you have more respect for restaurants, especially small businesses such as mine. Pathetic.”

Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro said he received a number of Instagram messages from Jen Royle, the owner of the North End restaurant TABLE, after he had to cancel his Jan. 6 reservation for a seven-course prix fixe dinner at the last minute because he was rushed to the emergency room. X/@trevorshowvan

Chauvin-DeCaro then replied to Royle, expressing his “disappointment and shock at the tone and content” of her angry missive.

“My stomach turns with the gross decision to search for, find, and direct message a customer like this,” he wrote in his now-viral response to the chef who got her start on Anthony Bourdain’s show “The Taste.”

“The decision to reach out to a customer with such a scolding and disparaging message is, frankly, astounding.”

Royle thanked him “for screwing over my restaurant and my staff when you disputed your cancellation fee.” X/@trevorshowvan

The tourism employee told the Boston Herald he had reserved a table at the Italian eatery for when he and his husband were supposed to be in Boston to see Madonna at TD Garden.

However, he started feeling unwell while his Amtrak train faced significant delays — and a doctor on a telehealth visit told him to go to an emergency room, he said, without elaborating on the exact issue.

Chavin-DeCaro told the Boston Globe he spent the “entire next day in the hospital” — at least 16 hours — to be treated and then have follow-up appointments.

Chauvin-DeCaro became shocked by Royle’s messages. X/@trevorshowvan
He said his decision “was not made lightly, and certainly not with the intent to ‘screw over’ your establishment or your staff.” X/@trevorshowvan

His husband called several businesses and hotels to let them know they would be unable to make the trip, and “everyone else was able to deal with” it without complaint, Chavin-DeCaro told the Globe.

But TABLE still charged them the full price of the meal, even though Chauvin-DeCaro’s husband called about six hours before the reservation, he said.

TABLE’s website states that “there are absolutely no exceptions to our cancellation policy,” saying: “We are a very small restaurant. Please be considerate.”

Chauvin-DeCaro claimed that when his husband called the restaurant about his sudden medical emergency, staff members told him to take it up with his credit card company “if I was so ‘butt hurt.’” X/@trevorshowvan

Told they would have to pay a $250 cancellation fee — $125 per person — Chauvin-DeCaro used his credit card’s travel protection insurance, which includes coverage for cancellations due to hospitalization.

“They told me they were taking care of it, and I never thought of it again,” he told the Herald.

In his initial reply to Royle’s DM calling him “pathetic,” Chauvin-DeCaro said his decision to “address the lofty cancellation fee was not made lightly, and certainly not with the intent to ‘screw over’ your establishment or your staff.”

An attorney representing Royle expressed doubts that Chauvin-DeCaro was rushed to the hospital. X/@trevorshowvan

He claimed that when his husband first called, staff told them to take it up with the credit card company — as they had — if he “was ‘so butt hurt.’”

He encouraged the restauranteur to “consider a more empathetic and professional approach when dealing with similar situations.”

But in follow-up messages, Royle denied that anybody on her staff received a phone call about Chauvin-DeCaro having a medical emergency.

“NOT a single human on my staff would ever use the words ‘butt hurt,” she also wrote, according to the shared screenshots.

“SHAME ON YOU. We are done here.”

Royle also posted on her own Instagram and her business profile about the situation.

“BOO HOO. Then call and cancel and explain! DISPUTING A CANCELLATION FEE IS WRONG!!!!!

“I spoke to about a dozen business owners today who shared their frustrations in people walking all over them and disputing their credit card charges. THIS HAS TO STOP! The lack of respect and entitlement is gross,” she wrote, according to the screenshots shared online.

She also told Chauvin-DeCaro in a private message that she has taken the matter up with the restaurant’s legal team, writing: “The amount of slander that the business is receiving is absolutely horrific. You will be hearing from our lawyers.”

Royle’s attorney, Michael Ford, explained that she had “been facing attacks on the Internet, and now she is getting bombarded with death threats.

“The false statements, the defamatory statements, the death threats, the abusive comments, they hurt and she doesn’t want to be hurt anymore,” he told the Herald.

When asked why Royle decided to reach out to Chauvin-DeCaro directly, Ford said: “You work so hard as a small business owner. You work so hard as a woman-owned business. It is a challenge.”

Ford also expressed doubts that Chauvin-DeCaro was ever in the hospital, calling his story “bogus.”

He explained that the restaurant first received notice from Chase Bank in January that Chauvin-DeCaro was disputing the charge, and later informed the restaurant it would not be honoring the charge.

A dispute form he shared with The Post showed Chauvin-DeCaro listed the reason for his dispute of the charges as a “late train to Boston” which caused him to miss the reservation.

Royle said she now regrets privately messaging Chauvin-DeCaro, but said she “will continue to stand up for my business and my staff.”

She also claimed “it has come to light that no Chase travel insurance was used for this dispute.”

“Invalid credit card disputes are extremely detrimental to small businesses,” she told The Post.

The restaurant has since made its social media accounts private.

The Post has reached out to Chauvin-DeCaro for comment.

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