AMERICAN rapper Jay-Z is suing his former personal chef, New Zealander Mike Shand, for $1.5 million.
The hip-hop mogul has filed a lawsuit against Shand, a celebrity chef who worked for both him and his wife Beyonce Knowles, on behalf of his restaurant the Manhattan 40/40 Club, claiming he "failed to perform on significant aspects" of a deal to make the menu better.
Jay-Z and his partner Juan Perez claim his lack of input lead to a loss of profits which cannot be regained.
According to NYPost.com, a filing in a Manhattan court read: "The club has not been able to adequately replace the items and services defendant was paid to provide."
Shand's lawyer Vik Pawar claimed he was unaware of why a lawsuit would be filed against him.
Pawar said: "Mike's a great chef, and it is unclear why 40/40 would contemplate a lawsuit against him. Nevertheless, we will respond accordingly when he gets served with the complaint."
Among the items listed on the menu at the establishment include a US$42 Rib Eye steak and a $28 grilled halibut, and Shand is still listed as the chef at the restaurant on its website.
Shand was born and raised in Christchurch and trained in New Zealand but now resides in California.
In a recent interview with NZ Herald, Shand said he had worked with many celebrities including Prince, Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney.
He started working with celebrities on Beyonce's Experience tour in 2007, and recently catered for Jay-Z and Kanye West's joint Watch the Throne tour in Europe.
Being humble and "getting on with your business" was key to his success, he said.
"Being a private chef for me, means letting go of your ego. Cooking privately, your whole aim is to cook to others' taste and be observant to their individual preferences. In the life of a private chef; adaptability, versatility and consistency are king," he said.
Shand hasn't addressed the issue on his personal Twitter page, but it still states that he is, "Personal Chef to Beyonce and Jay Z".