Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar sacked over anti-Islam tweet

Atul Kochhar

Atul Kochhar

The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai has now made a decision to terminate Chef Atul Kochhar's contract with the famous Indian fine dining restaurant Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar. The storyline caused much contention among viewers with one of the show's stars, Priyanka Chopra, even publicly apologising.

Kochhar, who appeared on MasterChef in India and Britain, took issue with the show's portrayal of a terrorist plot organised by a group of Hindu nationalists.

"It's sad to see that you (Priyanka) have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorized by Islam over 2000 years".

It was at the restaurant that Kochhar won his first Michelin star in 2001, also the first for an Indian chef in the history of the Michelin guide.

The Michelin-starred chef operated the award-winning Rang Mahal India restaurant at Dubai's JW Marriot Marquis Hotel.

"With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai", he said.

"I have great respect for JW Marriott and in particular their staff in Dubai and wish the hotel well for the future".

Social media users called for a boycott of Kochhar's restaurants in the UAE and the United Kingdom and restaurant finder app Halal Gems said it was dropping eateries affiliated to the chef from its listings.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, he said: "I would like to apologise unreservedly to my Muslim friends, the Islamic community and everyone I have offended with my recent tweets".

Mr Kochhar, in another apology tweet made in wee hours today, wrote: This could neither salvage the situation and nor did it calm Twitter users down. "We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for", he added. His tweet on the issue was deemed Islamophobic by many social media users. 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.

Some said they would boycott the restaurant.

"There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of moment on Sunday".

The statement further said: "At the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai we pride ourselves on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion for our guests and associates across the hotel and our restaurants".