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Chef to the stars Miki Nozawa dies following confrontation over unpaid bill

EPA, file

Japanese chef Miki Nozawa had cooked for celebrities including Mikhail Gorbachev, Phil Collins, Naomi Campbell and Denzel Washington.

MUNICH, Germany -- A chef to the stars has died following a fight that reportedly started with an argument over fried noodles.

Miki Nozawa, 57, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on Monday after confronting two men outside a nightclub and demanding that they pay a bill left at his eponymous Asian diner on the German resort island of Sylt, officials said. 

According to German media reports, two customers had earlier left the restaurant after complaining to Nozawa about their beef noodle dish. The German tabloid Bild said the total bill was about $25. 

Nozawa was beaten until he was unconscious, according to reports.

Senior public prosecutor Rüdiger Meienburg said an autopsy had not clearly indicated whether the beating alone had killed Nozawa or had possibly exacerbated an existing medical condition. He said authorities were waiting for further results.

"We are vigorously investigating and trying to find out exactly what happened," Meienburg added.

Friederike Reussner / Sylter Rundschau via EPA

Miki Nozawa's death may have resulted from a brawl after unhappy customers reportedly did not pay for a noodle dish in this restaurant.

He confirmed that police had questioned two suspects but said that the exact sequence and nature of the events had not been determined.

Born in Tokyo and known for his Japanese-Italian fusion dishes, Nozawa had cooked for celebrities including Mikhail Gorbachev, Phil Collins, Naomi Campbell and Denzel Washington.

After a stint cooking for the rich and famous in Berlin and at the Billionaire Club in Sardinia, Italy, Nozawa had recently moved to Sylt, an island known for its luxurious lifestyle. He opened his Asian diner in March.

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