A noted chef on the Dubai food scene is out of a job after tweeting out anti-Islamic statements.
Until a few days ago, Atul Kochhar was the Michelin-starred chef who ran Rang Mahal, an award-winning restaurant inside Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel. Kochhar immediately came under fire when he began tweeting about a recent controversial episode of “Quantico,” in which Chopra’s character, FBI agent Alex Parrish, thwarts the plans of Indian nationalists planning a nuclear attack in Manhattan.
“It’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on you,” he wrote in response to a tweet from the actress apologizing to those whose feelings were hurt. The chef quickly deleted the tweet after social media users began responding and tagging his employer.
“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,” said Bill Keffer, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai said in a statement to Gulf Ne
Kocchar returned to social media on June 11 to apologize for his remarks. “There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday,” he said. He would post two more detailed statements as the week went on.
“I would like to apologize unreservedly to my Muslim friends, the Islamic community and everyone I have offended by my recent tweets. They were insensitive and wrong,” he tweeted in part. “My work and my restaurants are defined by a passion to unite cultures through food, love and understanding. I have let myself and my colleagues down.”
He would return to Twitter again on Friday to reiterate his apology and to add that he was saddened “that my mistake is fuelling the flames of division … I will now take a break from Twitter to reflect.”