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Atul Kochhar ‘no longer employed’ by Mayfair’s Benares

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Atul Kochhar ‘no longer employed’ by Mayfair’s Benares

Atul Kochhar is no longer employed by Benares, a statement from the one-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair has confirmed.

The former chef-patron, who was let go by Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in June after he sent a series of allegedly anti-Islamic tweets to the actress Priyanka Chopra, has been replaced by executive chef Brinder Narula.

Narula has worked in the company for more than three years, and taught Kochhar in the early 1990s.

It is currently unclear if Kochhar was fired or left of his own accord.

The parting of ways leaves three UK restaurants in the chef’s portfolio – Sindhu in Marlow, Hawkyns in Amersham, and Indian Essence in Bromley, Greater London.

He is also believed to be looking to expand into Birmingham. The venture was originally slated to open at the Mailbox shopping complex, however these plans were dropped last month after several months of delay according to local media.

In a statement a spokesperson for Benares said: “Atul Kochhar is no longer the chef-patron of Benares Restaurant in Mayfair, London.

“The kitchen at Benares will continue to be led by executive chef Brinder Narula, who has been with the company for over three years.

“Chef Narula originally taught Atul at the Oberoi culinary school in India in the early 1990s.

“Prior to Benares he co-led the brigade at the Michelin starred Indian restaurant Gymkhana in London and at Oberoi, India’s leading luxury hotel group.”

Kochhar’s controversial tweets in June were in response to Priyanka Chopra’s role in the action series Quantico, following an episode which featured a terrorist plot devised by a group of Hindu nationalists. The episode proved anger from many, prompting Chopra to later apologise.

Following the release of the episode, Kochhar tweeted: “It’s sad to see that you [Chopra] have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on You.”

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