Celebrity chef Atul Kochhar booted out of Dubai hotel after anti-Islam tweet

Published: June 13, 2018
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Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar said followers of Islam had 'terrorised' Hindus for 2,000 years. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar said followers of Islam had 'terrorised' Hindus for 2,000 years. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

A five-star hotel in Dubai has sacked famous international chef of Indian-origin Atul Kochhar after he tweeted that followers of Islam had “terrorised” Hindus for 2,000 years.

The comments were made after a recent Priyanka Chopra starrer action series depicted a terrorist plot hatched by a group of Hindu extremists, provoking outrage in India. Chopra apologised for the storyline at the weekend.

“It’s sad to see that you [Chopra] have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on You,” Kochhar, the London-based Michelin-starred chef reacted to the Quantico episode.

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Kochhar is associated with the Rang Mahal restaurant in Dubai as well as five others in the UK and Spain, The Guardian reported.

He deleted the tweet the following day and apologised. “There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday,” he tweeted.

“I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many,” he said in another apology on Twitter.

The apologies followed a flood of outrage on social media including threats to boycott his Dubai restaurant and the JW Marriott Marquis hotel that houses it.

However, despite the apologies the hotel announced on Wednesday afternoon it was terminating its relationship with the Indian-born chef, who has appeared in MasterChef in the UK and India.

“Following the recent comments made by chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal,” said a spokesperson for Marriott Dubai. “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.”

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Kochhar, in a statement issued earlier today, said the decision by is “deeply upsetting, however I fully accept the great pain I have caused and the difficult position the hotel has been put in.

“I have great respect for JW Marriott and in particular their staff in Dubai and wish the hotel well for the future. I hope my friends and well-wishers in Dubai will forgive me and continue to support me in the future.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to a Hindu nationalist party BJP, had told parliament after assuming power in 2014 that the country needed to throw off its ‘slave mentality of 1,200 years’, in a reference to the period of Mughal and British rule.

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • shah
    Jun 13, 2018 - 11:04PM

    sounds like this guy badly wanted to leave this restaurant and did so.Recommend

  • Umair
    Jun 14, 2018 - 1:14AM

    Idiot hypocrite go back to indiaRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 14, 2018 - 1:18AM

    The UAE should realise this is what most Indian believe and think.

    They spy for Indian and Israel and are a great security threat to the EmiratesRecommend

  • abdul
    Jun 14, 2018 - 7:54AM

    It sense intolerance by not accepting truth…..Recommend

  • HT
    Jun 14, 2018 - 10:05AM

    Excellent Comment :) Either learn to respect other religions or else work only in your own country!!Recommend

  • aslam mir
    Jun 14, 2018 - 1:51PM

    @shah:
    Yes, now he can wobble his head and give a goofy smile back in Tamil Nadu or wherever he’s from.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jun 14, 2018 - 3:00PM

    His grudge was with PC why did he bring Islam into it ? Recommend

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