Whistleblower staff that complained against chef Karunesh Khanna 'sacked'
London-based restaurant chain Tamarind Kitchen has reportedly fired three employees who complained against Michelin-starred Karunesh Khanna, a chef of Indian-origin, used chicken as an ingredient in vegetarian and vegan dishes without informing the customers.
According to a report in Surrey-based publication Personnel Today on Tuesday, the Central London Employment Tribunal heard that the staff concerned were working at Tamarind Kitchen, "one of three Tamarind outlets in the capital specialising in upmarket Indian cuisine".
The news about Khanna's secret ingredient broke after six staff members of Tamarind Kitchen complained that Khanna told one manager: "Guests don't need to know what ingredients" were used.
The former assistant manager Mafis Ali who brought the employment tribunal case into limelight, lost his job after he alerted bosses about the use of the chicken cubes.
Restaurant director Fateh Dhaliwal, however, has denied the allegations made by the employees.
Ali and five other employees approached another Tamarind Kitchen manager Malik who discussed the issue with the chefs.
Malik "concluded the chicken stock was being used under the instructions of Khanna, who later allegedly told Malik that "guests don't need to know what ingredients" were used.
Malik then raised the issue with Dhaliwal and was told to keep selling dishes. "Those members of staff need to be phased out," Dhaliwal allgedly told Malik.
Khanna's food has tickled the taste buds of celebrities like David Beckham and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron.
A message sent to Khanna's Instagram account went unanswered.
One of the first Indian restaurants in the world to win a Michelin star, which it holds to this day, the Tamarind chain offers top-class Indian food in London.
The news instantly led to an outcry on Twitter.
"Everything is wrong with this. This is an absolutely clear case of cheating a people by scheming to make something delicious in such illegally disingenuous ways. Nobody is doing a favor letting the other know. 1stly, it should not be advertised as vegan. 2nd, customers are required to know!" a user posted on Twitter.
"I'm more shocked that a Michelin-starred chef uses shop-bought stock when they tell the rest of us to make it at home. Michelin-starred chef Karunesh Khanna accused of using chicken cubes in vegetarian meals," another user tweeted.
"@karuneshkhanna Why not use vegetable stock or even one of the many faux chicken stocks available? So irresponsible and disrespectful. I'm headed to London later this year and will be skipping @TamarindMayfair," a user posted. IANS