Celebrity chef busted for trying to poison neighbor’s tree

A celebrity chef with an apparently phony penchant for environmentalism was arrested for allegedly trying to poison a neighbor’s silver maple tree because, ironically, it was blocking his solar panels.

Adam Harvey, 33, a New York native, former contestant on “Top Chef: Boston,” and chef/owner of the Gowanus eatery Bar Salumi, was arrested back in May, the New York Daily News first reported. He was arraigned on misdemeanors charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Adam Harvey, the chef and owner of a Gowanus restaurant and former ‘Top Chef’ contestant. (Photo courtesy Bravo TV)

Harvey was allegedly spotted entering the neighbor’s enclosed backyard wearing a mask and gloves and holding a cup of unspecified liquid, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Inman. He is then accused of using a hand drill to drill holes into the tree in question, the complaint continues. The defendant later observed a wet substance on the tree and its leaves.

Since the April 30 incident described in the complaint, the defendant reported to the Daily News that the half of the leaves have wilted on the 60-year-old maple tree.

“Why would you have solar panels and try to take down a tree?” the unidentified owner or the tree told the Daily News. “That to me is the linchpin of everything. It says a lot.”

Prior to the incident, Harvey had allegedly complained about the tree to neighbors and even went as far as hiring a team of arborists to remove some limbs, according to the New York Daily News.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Harvey is due back in court on Friday.

Meanwhile, Bar Salumi’s Facebook page has seen a few recent commenters react to the controversy with trademark New York sarcasm:

Email Patrick Kearns