Bay Area chef and restaurateur Michael Chiarello was arrested early Wednesday in Napa County on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a controlled substance, authorities said.
Officers arrested Chiarello, 54, at 3:27 a.m. as he was driving on the Silverado Trail just south of the Yountville Cross Road, CHP Officer Marc Renspurger said.
Chiarello was traveling alone in his 2015 Porsche Boxster, Renspurger said. The officer did not have any details on Chiarello’s blood alcohol level or the substance discovered in the vehicle.
He was released on a $5,000 bail, according to the county’s booking report.
Chiarello is the chef/owner of Bottega restaurant in Yountville and Coqueta in San Francisco. He first came on the local scene in the late 1980s with Tra Vigne restaurant in St. Helena, with Italian dishes derived from his family’s heritage. He also won an Emmy for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Easy Entertaining” show.
In a statement released by his publicist, Terry Fahn, Chiarello disputed the arrest complaint.
“Although he is embarrassed and apologizes to his family, friends and business colleagues about this occurrence, he intends to vigorously challenge the misdemeanor charges,” the statement said.