DUBAI: Celebrity Chef Atul Kochhar on Wednesday said he was ‘deeply upset’ by a Dubai hotel’s decision to cut ties with him following his “anti-Islam tweet”.
“The decision by JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is deeply upsetting, however I fully accept the great pain I have caused and the difficult position the hotel has been put in,” he wrote in an emailed statement to Gulf News tabloid!
“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,” he continued.
Michelin-star chef of the Rang Mahal restaurant at the JW Marriot Marquis hotel received flak after taking a dig at actress Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over a “Quantico” episode that portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists.
Kochhar’s anti-Islam tweet created a furore on social media, with twitterati to boycott his restaurants and his sacking from the restaurant.
“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,” JW Marriot Marquis Hotel said in a statement cited by Gulf News.
“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. We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for,” it added.
Following the swift online backlash, Kochhar retracted his tweet. According to the hotel, the restaurant will continue to operate without the chef’s affiliation.