Celebrity chef Atul Kochhar has responded after JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai terminated his contract at the hotel after his tweet on Islam that has resulted in severe social media backlash around the world.
Atul Kochhar, who heads Rang Mahal recently came under fire for his tweet showing negative sentiments towards Islam in response to Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra.
He told Gulf News in an email statement from the UK: “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. 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.”
The restaurant has already been removed from the JW Marriot Marquis website and while the restaurant will no longer be associated with Atul Kochhar it will still be open.
In an emailed statement, JW Marriott Marquis general manager Bill Keffer told HotelierMiddleEast.com that “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.”
The chef, who has two Michelin stars for his restaurant Benares in London, was responding to Chopra’s show Quantico portraying Hindus as terrorists.
Dear @atulkochhar could you clarify the tweet you made. So are Muslims in Dubai better because they pay you for your food? 2000 years of terrorizing Hindus, can you give some concrete examples please? As you’ve offended many people. pic.twitter.com/RucOWLZ0mX— Hasan Patel (@Hasanpatel) June 10, 2018
Following his first tweet which has since been deleted, Twitter has been calling for the hotel to fire the chef. The hotel has since issued a comment condemning the remarks.
The statement read: “We are aware of the comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar. We would like to stress that we do not share the same views as stated in the remark, nor is it a representation of the culture of diversity and inclusion that we pride ourselves on at the hotel.”
We are aware of the comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar. We would like to stress that we do not share the same views as stated in the remark, nor is it a representation of the culture of diversity and inclusion that we pride ourselves on at the hotel.— JW Marriott Marquis (@JWDubaiMarquis) June 11, 2018
He has since issued a second apology on Twitter.