Gordon Ramsay's new Asian restaurant sparks cultural appropriation backlash

‘It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome’

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Monday 15 April 2019 11:34

Gordon Ramsay's new Asian restaurant has sparked a cultural appropriation row after a food critic described the eatery as a "kitchen nightmare".

Last week, Ramsay and his head chef Ben Orpwood hosted a preview event for the restaurant, which is due to open this June in Mayfair, London.

One of the journalists who attended the event was Angela Hui, a freelance writer for London-based food publication Eater.

In her review of the Lucky Cat restaurant, Ms Hui described it as a "real-life Ramsay kitchen nightmare".

The food journalist also remarked that she was the "only east Asian person in a room full of 30 to 40 journalists and chefs" at the event.

Ms Hui shared snippets from the preview event on her Instagram story throughout the evening, in posts that she included in her review of the restaurant.

In one of the posts, which showed her drinking wine, she wrote the caption: "I can only drink thru the pain that this is an 'Asian' restaurant [sic]."

In another post, the journalist sardonically wrote: "Japanese? Chinese? It's all Asian who cares."

Ramsay responded on Instagram to the criticism he was subjected to in Ms Hui's review of his restaurant, writing: "Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was, regrettably, one offensive response from the night which I have to call out."

The chef stated that while it's important that critics and reviewers have "freedom of speech", the "slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui's social channels, were not professional".

Ramsay also referenced comments Ms Hui made about Mr Orpwood's wife, in which the journalist described her as a "token Asian wife".

"It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome," Ramsay said.

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"Gordon Ramsay Restaurants do not discriminate based on gender, race or beliefs and we don’t expect anyone else to."

The Independent has contacted Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hui for comment.

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