Restaurant Blow-Up: Executive Chef Philip Anthony Licausi Leaves 3rd and 3rd

Categories: Food News

The restaurant industry is not known for being kind or gentle. All you have to think about is Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay's crazy, angry antics.

While sensationalized TV shows tend to highlight the worst of the worst in terms of restaurant drama, sometimes in real life it can be just as bad.

Unfortunately, this was a dramatic week at the much beloved Delray Beach eatery 3rd & 3rd this week. The confrontation resulted in the loss of much of the kitchen staff and the restaurant's Executive Chef Philip Anthony Licausi.

Clean Plate Charlie spoke to both Licausi and restaurant owner John Paul Kline about the conflict.

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Apparently, tensions have been running high between the owner and executive chef for quite some time. Both Kline and Licausi admit to disputes in the past.

"He just walked out and tried to take the whole kitchen staff," said Kline. "Some came back, but I have myself and some replacements for the meantime. We've had many altercations in the past."

According to Kline, Licausi was let go due to a confrontation with a customer. He asserts that in addition to several negative interactions with customers, Licausi has walked out three times in the past.

Licausi's side of the story differs.

"I just had it," he said. "I walked out and then the kitchen staff walked out. He's [Kline] is just an explosive guy. I didn't ask them [the kitchen staff] to go, but they respect me as a chef. I built that whole team."

Licausi claims that the restaurant was too stressful of an environment. He told Clean Plate Charlie that since coming onboard about four months back, he consistently worked 90 to 100 hours per week, changing the menu everyday, without help from a sous chef.

While Kline has several options lined up for new kitchen staff, Licausi is currently looking for a new job.

As for 3rd & 3rd, Kline is trying to return to business as usual.

"It's been very hard to open in general, considering I built this place myself," he said. "But this is very unsettling. I'm going to try to bring it back to its original intent. It's very important that my staff is happy, I'm happy, and my customers are happy."

And we're just hoping it all works out for everyone.

3rd & 3rd is located at 301 Ne 3rd Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-303-1939, or visit

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

Location Info

3rd & 3rd

301 NE 3rd Ave., Delray Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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Sorry to read this update and hear Philip has left.  This place was one of the few restaurants we enjoyed in Delray Beach.  If you are looking for a new opportunity word on the street is the genius behind Pizzeria Oceano is about to expand.  Being the best chef we have found in Florida he would be someone to learn from.  Keep us updated please on your whereabouts. 



With all due respect, at 26 you have not been around long enough to helm a great kitchen. It is evidenced by the culinary graduate that chimed in here. Very young team and you were the Chef at a bar. Helm the kitchen at a Max's Grille type place for a few years and your thoughts and what you have to say will carry more weight. Owning a restaurant is one of the most difficult things to do in the world. Why don't you and your team borrow money and open one yourself. You guys are so great and willing to work a lot so it should be easy for you.Just make sure everything gets paid on time!JP had the GUTS to do it why don't you? As a customer of that place I know there were food cost and kitchen labor problems from the beginning. This is evidenced in the portion sizes across the board getting way smaller. A great chef can manage those things as well as food and people. JP opened a cool little spot over there and I'll be back. Keep us up to date where you'll be opening your spot I'm sure it will be all sunshine and roses.


I was the chef and this is philip licausi. My last comment somehow got lost but I didn't steal the staff they obviously had no respect for the drunken owner who couldn't pay his bills nor pay his employees. Bounced checks from fish purveyors or "canceled" checks, and a 15 thousand dollar produce order invoice because know one was paying the daily produce. It was ignored. The staff and I worked long hours creating different things to please the locals as I'm fresh fish, seasonal produce, not jps house smoked pork out of his 50 year old nasty smoker. Our heads never matched on ideas that came to arguments. I believe I'm fresh, local, seasonal stuff. Not frozen, canned, garbage. My name was on the menu and I couldn't let "smoked pork" and "ribs" done improperly tarnish my name. He's known for not paying his employees or getting mad at them and cutting their pay in half! Bar manager Erick smith didn't get paid for 4 weeks, Peter Robson got In an argument with Kline and before you know it his pay was cut to minimum wage the day before payroll and screwed him. 3 times that happened but stayed to learn from what I was teaching. We all ordered rabbits, made pâtés , foie gras, teaching them classical things and the proper way to cool classical dishes. They watched a drunken fool come in and lash out about stuff that didn't make sense. People that talked to him

Always asked " is he in a dream in his mind" he's my their. But it's ok I know what I did for his restaurant and my staff left with me, not to stay and cook

Smoked pork and drink boos. We are all seeking legal counsel, we don't know if we are getting paid Friday, we have lawyers helping us and listening and also news crews. It's embarrassing for him and how he puts on the good guy role when he clearly is the poison. Even with his catering company going down hill, he don't care about anyone but him self. I'm done talking about it I'm

26 and have plenty of roads to take! Alot of people

Believe in my next move and this ones going to be better' to the locals: contact me via email


My next move ! Until than I'm out! Cheers

-Philip Licausi


This is Nick Longo, I recently graduated from culinary school in Philadelphia and moved to Delray Beach.  I was lucky enough to work under a great chef, mentor, teacher, and friend such as Chef Licausi at 3rd & 3rd.  The owner John Paul says "It's been very hard to open in general, considering I built this place myself," but considering that he would not have half of the reputation or business that he has now due to chef Phil, thats a complete lie.  He walks around and gets hammered during service, while chef is single handedly running his team on the line for a full house.  Now, I've been working in this industry since I was 14, and i can say without a doubt that he has been the greatest chef that I have had the honor of learning from.  The man is a culinary genius, hands down the most passionate and creative chef i have met in my life.  Thats why he didn't mind working 90-100 hours because he loves what he does.  But in an environment such as 3rd & 3rd, where his talent and hard work was being taken for granted, he had no choice but to leave. Everyone in the kitchen respected him too much not to follow, he hired all of us, he trained all of us, he built this team, so we left as a team.  That place was falling to pieces before we even left, management was a complete joke, checks were bouncing and people were not getting paid.  I cannot wait to see what becomes of that place now that its lost the key component that was holding it together.


I worked under JP before Phil and it was always a shit show hes a drunk, we all left with Phil because we respect him and he taught us alot! Everything changed everyday and he is a good mentor and I would not stick around and listen to him try and be a chef with out phil there it would be crazy chef made that place and why would we want to continue and my pay was robbed from me blind and the sneaky new "GM" Alan, will do it too. they took my pay and cut it in half changed my hourly couldnt pay my bills why would I stay? He puts on a good show deep down hes a drunk low life and hes trying to ruin Chefs name because hes a low life drunk. 

Clean Plate Charlie
Clean Plate Charlie

Oh no! We had an issue with a false malware alert several weeks ago. We finally got Google to clear us again. Try clearing out your cookies.

Steve Shelby
Steve Shelby

Sounds like a real winner. But the always comes up blocked by my security system for Malware Distribution


Age is a number reveal your name and not hide since you know it all


I am young and worked in alot of places thanks for your criticism and my next step is my own!


Thanks nick! Your the man! We had our

Fun now time to

Move forward !

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