Michelin-star Indian chef sacked in Dubai over anti-Islamic tweet

Esequiel Farfan
Junio 14, 2018

This tweet was in response to the recent controversy surrounding TV show Quantico starring Priyanka Chopra.

Reportedly, he dissed the actress for purportedly participating in a plot of "Quantico", portraying Hindu nationalists as terrorists.

Atul Kochhar, the Indian-origin head chef of a restaurant in Dubai, has come under fire for his "anti-Islam" tweet, directed at Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra.

"Following the recent comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal. With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant", Bill Keffer, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, said in a statement.

Kochhar - who runs the Michelin-starred Benares restaurant in the swish Mayfair area of London as well as the Rang Mahal restaurant in the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai - was swiftly schooled on Twitter, both for getting his facts wrong, and for the display of bigotry. "I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many", Kochhar tweeted on Monday.

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His communal and hateful comments towards Muslims created a furore on social media, with twitterati calling for firing of the chef. "Shame on You (sic)", Kochhar tweeted.

According to the hotel, the restaurant will continue to operate without the chef's affiliation.

He later deleted the tweet and apologised for the "major error" that was "made in the heat of the moment on Sunday", the paper said.

While Kochhar labelled the hotel's decision "deeply upsetting" he said he fully accepted "the great pain" his tweet caused. On Tuesday, he tweeted: "I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for", the hotel statement added. Kochhar is regarded by many as the chef who took Indian fine-dining to the West, carving a niche for modern Indian cuisine and inverting the idea of Indian food as greasy takeaway. The JW Marriott hotel had distanced itself from his tweet and said they did not share the same views as Atul Kochhar.

Some residents have said that they would boycott the restaurant.

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