Gordon Ramsay accused of cultural appropriation following launch of his new East Asian restaurant

Sophia Ankel
Monday 15 April 2019 10:00
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PICTURE:(Getty)

Gordon Ramsay seems to be involved in his own "kitchen nightmare", as his new "authentic Asian" restaurant has become embroiled in a row over cultural appropriation.

The celebrity chef's restaurant group is preparing to launch Lucky Cat in Mayfair, West London, with promotional material that describes it as "an authentic Asian eating house and vibrant late-night lounge, inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East".

But in a review for Eater London of the preview event held this week, one food writer, Angela Hui, observed that she was "the only East Asian person in a room full of 30-40 journalists and chefs".

Taking to her Instagram story, Hui kept her followers posted throughout the event, saying at one point that she could only "drink through the pain that this is an 'Asian' event", adding:

Japanese? Chinese? It's all Asian, who cares.

Finally, she also claimed that at the event, Ramsay said that the head chef of the restaurant, Ben Orpwood, was "more qualified and experienced than me in this field" and that "he's done the research, having travelled back and forth to South Asia for many months".

Did Ramsay respond?

No one really questioned whether or not the celebrity chef, known for his temper, was going to.

Ramsay took to Instagram to write his response, saying:

Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was one offensive response from the night, which I have to call out. 

The slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui's social channels, were not professional. 

It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome, and Ms Hui's comments around my Executive Chef and his wife, calling her a "token Asian wife", were personal and hugely disrespectful.

Other chefs have since weighed in on the controversy:

Chef Ken Hom told the Guardian:

I wish Gordon the best and wish him much success. Perhaps I can be of help as consultant? I do have 59 years of experience in Asian cuisine.

We can only imagine how this is all making Ramsay feel.

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HT The Guardian

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