Head chef Atul Kochhar has admitted that his sacking from Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel over an offensive tweet is "deeply upsetting".
In a statement cited by local media, Kochhar, who has a two Michelin-star restaurant in London and operated the Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at the Dubai hotel, said he fully accepted the "great pain" he had caused.
The hotel’s ire at Kochhar stems from a tweet directed at actress Priyanka Chopra, which itself followed an apology from her for offending Muslims through an episode of her TV show, Quantico, which depicted a Hindu nationalist group as extremists.
In the tweet – which has since been deleted – Kochhar said that “it’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2,000 years. Shame on you.”
Following the initial backlash to his Tweet, Kochhar said that it was a “major error that occurred in the heat of the moment”.
In his latest statement, Kochhar said: “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.”
His restaurant has been removed from the JW Marriot Marquis website.
“Following the recent comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal,” Bill Keffer, the general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai said in a statement earlier this week. “Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant.”For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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