Gordon Ramsay continues to grow his empire
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is juggling ‘MasterChef Junior’ and ’24 Hours to Hell and Back’ with his expanding worldwide restaurant empire.
Gordon Ramsay is calling out a restaurant critic for allegedly reigniting controversy over his latest restaurant concept and labeling it a “real life Ramsay kitchen nightmare” in a review.
Writer and restaurant reviewer Angela Hui covered a preview event for the celebrity chef's upcoming London restaurant Lucky Cat, which bills itself as an “authentic Asian eating house” in press materials. In her review for Eater London, Hui took the restaurant to task over a misspelling on the menu, the lack of windows or ventilation in the preview space, and the “seedy nightclub” atmosphere of the event.
“It was probably for the best that the strange, cold blue lighting throughout and rooms so dark rooms meant that diners were barely able to see the food in front of them,” Hui wrote.
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Hui’s comments on Lucky Cat also spilled over onto Instagram posts, where she allegedly made comments about the quality of the food from head chef Ben Orpwood, whom Ramsay claimed had been “travel[ing] back and forth to south Asia for many months” for research, according to Hui’s review.
“I can only drink thru the pain that is this an ‘Asian’ event,” she wrote on Instagram, per the Times of London. “Japanese? Chinese? It’s all Asian who cares,” she added, in response to Orpwood allegedly describing the preparation and ingredients for a duck dish to be both Chinese and Japanese.
Hui further claimed she was the only “east Asian person” at the event, chefs included.
Hui’s comments also appeared to reignite controversy that first erupted when Ramsay announced his restaurant concept in February. Social media users and chefs took issue with the restaurant’s name, blasted as a “stereotype,” as well as the alleged lack of Asian chefs and the “whitewashing” of Asian cuisine.
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Ramsay soon took to social media to defend Lucky Cat, calling out Hui by name.
“Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was, regrettably, one offensive response from the night which I have to call out,” he wrote on Instagram, before calling Hui’s coverage on social media “derogatory and offensive.”
“It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome, and Ms. Hui’s comments around [Ben Orpwood] and his wife, calling her a ‘token Asian wife,’ were personal and hugely disrespectful,’ he added, referencing a comment Hui allegedly made on Instagram.
“Gordon Ramsay Restaurants do not discriminate based on gender, race or beliefs and we don’t expect anyone else to. I may not agree with all reviews, but if someone is going to be critical, then I expect them to be professional and have some integrity.”
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Lucky Cat is scheduled to open in London's Mayfair district in June.
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