The chef-patron of Michelin-starred London restaurant Benares posted the tweet on Sunday (10 June) in response to a controversial US TV show, Quantico, which depicted a terrorist plot devised by Hindu nationalists.
It read: “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.”
The chef deleted it the next day, and described it as a “major error made in the heat of the moment” before later publishing a more in depth apology.
“I would like to apologise unreservedly to my Muslim friends, the Islamic community and everyone I have offended with my recent tweets,” said the chef.
“I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many.”
Despite the chef’s apology, the JW Marriott Marquis hotel in Dubai has terminated the chef’s contract at its Rang Mahal restaurant.
“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 the hotel.
“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.”
Kochhar recently featured in BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, in which he invested in Ruth Hansom and Emily Lambert’s debut restaurant Epoch.
As well as Benares in London, Kochhar runs Benares in Madrid; Sindhu at the Macdonald Compleat Angler hotel in Marlow; and Hawkyns at The Crown Inn in Amersham.