It appears the nights of chef Elizabeth Falkner sneaking into houses and "crashing" onto unsuspecting homeowner's spare beds are over.
Friday afternoon, in the same Perugia courthouse where Amanda Knox stood trial for murder, Falkner was charged with several felonies including 187A of the Umbrian criminal code ".Dormire In Un Letto Non Suo ( Sleeping in a bed not her own).
The case against Falkner all started with an amusing little story.
Nancy Silverton and crew had just arrived home Wednesday from Florence after a midnight ride.. House guest Billy Harris, staying in the annex to Silverton's main, two-bedroom home, asked if he could get another pillow. "My shoulder tendinitis, ya know." Harris explained
"Sure, just go in the bedroom right there and grab a pillow off the bed," Nancy said.
Harris went to the bedroom, but seconds later emerged, somewhat shocked. "There's someone sleeping in the bed."
Silverton said "Billy, no one is in there.."
"No," Harris insisted, "I think Elizabeth Falkner is sleeping in that bed."
Me, I'm thinking 'ole Billy had too much Fontodi Chianti Classico up in Tuscany and he's seeing things. Nevertheless, I open the door to the bedroom, turn on the light and, sure enough, there, passed out in the bed - not on it, in it, - was Elizabeth Falkner.
Billy, Nancy and I had a pretty good laugh that night.. The next day, too. But, when Harris, a magician, began recounting the story to others. a disturbing trend emerged; Many people, most of them renowned chefs. had the identical experience.
Elizabeth Falkner, highly regarded chef and television food personality, turns out to be a serial house crasher. And, even more significantly, Falkner has not paid rent anywhere in over three years, opting instead to break into people's homes - some of them friends, many complete strangers - and pass out in their extra bedrooms.
An investigation by Krikoran Writes has revealed that Falkner has "guested" unannounced or invited at the homes of chefs who have a combined 34 Michelin stars.
"Laura and I came home one night after an anniversary party at the French Laundry and we heard snoring," said Thomas Keller via E-mail from Yountville, California ."I grabbed a beautiful Laguiole chef's knife Mchel Bras had given me and i tipped-toed into our guest bedroom. There was Falkner snoring her ass off like a cape buffalo. . Laura looked at me and said 'Either she goes or I do.'. Problem was, I couldn't wake her up."
Los Angeles star chef Susan Feniger had a similar experience.
"One day Elizabeth came to my house with her dog Hendrix and asked if I would watch him for a couple days," Feniger said via text message.. "I love dogs and said 'Sure". Elizabeth explained she was staying at a friend's house who didn't like dogs. I thought that was strange. Later, when I came home from Mud Hen Tavern, I found her sleeping in my guest bedroom. I would have let her stay if she had asked, but I think it's a sickness of sorts with her. Doing something that she is not supposed to do. It's kind of sad, really ."
In Paris, a spokeswoman for Joel Robuchon said "Falkner has three times sneaked into the master's house near his old restaurant Jamin at 32 Rue de la Longchamps. Monsieur Robuchon does not wish to speak to these events..He still finds it upsetting"
Meanwhile,.Silverton said she hopes the courts would take their time dealing with Faulkner who is out on 100,000 euro bail. Who put up the bail money? Nancy Silverton
"She's good in the kitchen and I can use some help for the next week or so," said Silverton who had already put Faulkner to work picking plums.
As required by the court, Falkner has to wear striped shorts, (as seen below.)