Food News

Philippe by Philippe Chow and the $15,000 Money Bag

A woman accompanied by two guests left $15,000 behind in a Jimmy Choo bag at Philippe by Philippe Chow on Wednesday night.

"What do you want me to do with this?" manager Jorge del Valle said when he showed CEO Stratis Morfogen the contents of the bag after the group had left.

"What are you showing me," asked Morfogen, "Monopoly money?"

In a bag long enough to dress a man's arm nestled $15,000 worth of $100 bills. "You don't understand," Stratis told Clean Plate Charlie,

"in the 20 years I've been in this business, I've had some crazy things

turned over. But this? You've gotta be kidding."

Del Valle has managed the Boca location since the opening, after stints at Philippe Chow in Mexico City and at the restaurant formerly in Miami's Gansevoort Hotel. "He is a brutally honest, hard-working guy," said Morfogen. "It doesn't surprise me that Jorge returned the cash." Del Valle was recruited by Morfogen when his service impressed him during a stay at the Mexico City

W Hotel, where del Valle had been working.


next morning, when a woman came to claim the bag, she tipped

del Valle $200.
"Come on, it's the holidays," said Morfogen. "Everyone's

struggling. He didn't have to return the bag. You

know how crazy it sounds to have someone call up to say they've lost a

bag of $15,000? I wouldn't have believed it. Least you could do is tip

him a grand."

Morfogen offers the woman additional advice:

"Next time perhaps she should deposit it and use the AMEX instead," said

Morfogen. "A bag of money is pretty shady."

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart