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No charges filed in Chiarello DUI case

No charges filed in Chiarello DUI case

Michael Chiarello

Michael Chiarello, shown here cooking for friends in the kitchen of his now closed Napa Style store at V Marketplace.

The Napa County District Attorney’s Office reported on Tuesday that no charges will be filed against celebrity chef Michael Dominic Chiarello who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last fall.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero cited a “lack of sufficient evidence.”

Then 54-year-old Chiarello, a St. Helena resident and owner of Bottega in Yountville, had pulled his 2015 Porsche Boxster to the side of Silverado Trail, south of Yountville Cross Road, at 3:27 a.m. Nov. 2, when a California Highway Patrol officer stopped to check the vehicle out.

He was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. Chiarello posted the $5,000 bail and was released from jail in less than three hours.

Chiarello immediately disputed the arrest allegations and, according to a spokesman, planned to challenge any charges filed against him.

Chiarello is a well-known chef who also owns Coqueta in San Francisco and has made numerous television appearances on “Top Chef” and “Top Masters” as well as hosting his own show “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello.”

He also owns Chiarello Family Vineyards in St. Helena, where he was the founding chef of Tra Vigne restaurant in the 1980s.

This story has been modified from the original to reflect that Chiarello was already pulled over when law enforcement encountered him.


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Maria Sestito is the former Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She now writes for the Register as a freelancer.

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