Atul Kochhar, an Indian-origin chef, has been sacked from Dubai hotel, where he was employed, after his Islamophobic tweet caused a row. Republic TV has accessed the first response from the Dubai hotel. In its reply, the hotel said:
"Following the recent comments made by chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal."
"At the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai we pride ourselves in creating a culture of diversity and inclusion for our guests and associates across the hotel and our restaurants," it added.
After Kochhar’s tweet landed him in a controversy, he tendered an apology saying: "I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many."
As per media reports, Atul Kochhar, a Michelin-Star chef well known in Dubai for his Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at the JW Marriott Marquis hotel, received flak after taking a dig at Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over an episode in American television series 'Quantico' that purportedly portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists.
"It's sad to see that you (Priyanka) have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorized by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on You (sic)," Kochhar tweeted. He later deleted the tweet and apologised for the "major error" that was "made in the heat of the moment on Sunday.
"There is no justification for my tweet ... I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded round 1400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many," Kochhar tweeted on Tuesday.
The anti-Islam tweet created a furore on social media, with twitterati calling for firing the chef.
Some even said they would boycott the restaurant. "Chef celebrity showed his true colours. I won't eat here after reading the racist tweets by the head chef," a UAE resident posted on his Facebook page.
"I have cancelled my wedding anniversary meal for next month at your restaurant. You knew exactly what you meant as you tweeted that message," another Twitter user added.
JW Marriot hotel, however, distanced itself from the chef's comments. "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," the hotel tweeted on Monday.