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Chef makes city tax-deadbeat list

Delilah Winder and her businesses owe the city $1.5 million-plus, the city says.

Delilah Winder, who at one time owned a string of soul-food stands and the Old City restaurant Bluezette, appeared in a quarterly list of tax delinquents released today by the City of Philadelphia.

Winder, who now runs one stand (her flagship, at Reading Terminal Market), is into the city personally for $1,577,478.03, the city said.

Contacted this afternoon, Winder said the taxes stem from Bluezette, which closed at 246 Market St. three years ago.

"I've been working with the city and making payments, and that amount is not correct. It's been proven by an accountant. That's really all I can say. I opened a company and it didn't work. Life goes on."

Winder won national fame in 2002 when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey's "Best of the Best" show with her signature macaroni and cheese. Of late, she's also a pitchwoman for Lactaid.

If the numbers are correct, Winder owes the city even more than Neil Stein, the founder of such destinations as Striped Bass, Avenue B, Bleu, and Rouge.

Also on the list are judgments totaling about $500,000 over the now-closed KatManDu on the riverfront.