Dishoom has called out Marks & Spencer after the supermarket chain shared a recipe on its Instagram account of a bacon naan – widely regarded as the restaurant group's signature dish.
The recipe, presented in a video by chef Chris Baber, was intended to promote the supermarket's own products, including M&S chilli jam and smoked back bacon. The post has since been edited to include the note that the recipe was "inspired by the wonderful dish @dishoom". The same credit does not appear on the M&S website under the recipe.
"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we were, of course, a little taken aback to have inspired such an esteemed establishment," said Dishoom, posting on Twitter.
"It has since become clear that this recipe is now being used, without any credit, across numerous paid advertising platforms – and for all our flippancy, in honesty, it hurts.
"After a year in which our cafés have been mostly closed, a year when we've spent many months (and countless sleepless nights) perfecting our first-ever meal kit to be able to bring this much-loved dish to the doors of patrons nationwide, it hurts all the more.
"There are many ways to entice people to visit a store. To attempt to profit off a dish that has become synonymous with a restaurant (which, like so many others, is doing everything in its power to stay afloat, to rebuild, and to protect over 950 jobs), seems to me pretty cheeky.
"So, @marksandspencer, as your fans and (hopefully!) friends, we politely invite you to make amends. It seems only right for you to give credit where it is due…"
The group launched its £16 cook-at-home bacon naan meal kit (pictured) last year as an alternative revenue stream to stay afloat once its restaurants were closed by coronavirus restrictions. Dishoom's managing director told The Caterer earlier this year that its delivery service allowed the business to "give the team long-term secure employment and an outlet to be creative and carry on working".
The group posted on Twitter requesting that the supermarket giant share a link to its bacon naan kits on its platforms, invite readers to book a table at a Dishoom restaurant or donate "a small percentage" of its advertising budget to Magic Breakfast, a charity that provides free school meals to children across the UK. Dishoom donates the cost of a Magic Breakfast for every breakfast sold at its restaurants.
Dishoom also tweeted: "You see, @marksandspencer, this isn't just a bacon naan roll, this is the Dishoom Bacon Naan Roll, and it means a great deal more to us than you know.
Baber, a former model, won BBC One competition Yes Chef in 2016 and worked for two months at Atul Kochhar's Michelin-starred London restaurant Benares.
Marks & Spencer has since tweeted: "@Dishoom we think you're great at what you do and want to stay friends. Asking our followers to support the incredible work Dishoom do by booking a table or buying their delicious naan kit."
It also said it was "reaching out" to Magic Breakfast.