Teamsters indicted in 'Top Chef' extortion

If you thought there was a lot of drama inside the kitchen on the most recent season of Bravo's "Top Chef," it was nothing compared to what was happening when the cameras weren't rolling.

Five members of the Boston Teamsters were indicted yesterday on federal extortion charges, accused of intimidating the cast and crew of the show when it filmed in the city in 2014.

From the AP:

The indictment says members of Teamsters Local 25 demanded that union members be hired as drivers, then threatened and harassed the crew for the reality TV show's non-union production company...

The men are also accused of yelling profanities and racial and homophobic slurs at host Padma Lakshmi and the crew while they filmed at Steel & Rye, a restaurant in the Boston suburb of Milton..

Three Teamsters were ordered released Wednesday on $50,000 unsecured bonds; a fourth was ordered held until a detention hearing Thursday. The men pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to extort and attempted extortion.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said a fifth man was dismissed from the indictment after prosecutors realized he had been misidentified from a photograph.

"Top Chef" has a long history of featuring contestants from Atlanta, including Ron Eyester, who appeared on the Boston season and was in the news yesterday, and Kevin Gillespie, who recently opened the buzzy Revival in Decatur. In addition, Dolce Italian, which was the winner of Bravo's "Best New Restaurant," hosted by "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio,

Explorerecently opened for business in Atlanta.