Gordon Ramsay Defends New Asian Restaurant After Being Accused Of Cultural Appropriation

Gordon Ramsay isn’t taking a recent restaurant review lightly.

The famous chef, 52, is gearing up to open his new Asian-inspired eatery, Lucky Cat, in London but during a preview for food critics and bloggers, one writer from Eater accused Ramsay of cultural appropriation.

In a scathing review, Angela Hui claimed, “It was nothing if not a real-life Ramsay kitchen nightmare.”

Lucky Cat, as its website describes, is “an authentic Asian Eating House and vibrant late-night lounge, inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East.”

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In her review, Hui said she was “the only east Asian person in a room full of 30-40 journalists and chefs” and that the setting was “more seedy nightclub than Asian eating house.”

Adding in a few posts from Instagram, Hui said she could only “drink thru the pain that is this an ‘Asian’ event,” before adding, “Japanese? Chinese? It’s all Asian who cares.”

She later mentioned the restaurant’s British head chef Ben Orpwood, claiming Ramsay introduced him to the crowd as someone who “is way more qualified and experienced than me in this field. He’s done the research, having travelled back and forth to south Asia for many months.”

The harsh review prompted a response from Ramsay, in a post to Instagram the “Kitchen Nightmare” host hit back: “Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was, regrettably, one offensive response from the night which I have to call out.”

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He added, “The slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui’s social channels, were not professional. It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome, and Ms. Hui’s comments around my Executive Chef and his wife, calling her a ‘token Asian wife,’ were personal and hugely disrespectful.”

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This week Gordon Ramsay Restaurants hosted a preview night for our new concept Lucky Cat, an Asian Eating House, set to launch in the heart of Mayfair. It was a warm, buzzing and brilliant night to celebrate what has been a long-time vision for me. Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was, regrettably, one offensive response from the night which I have to call out. In the 21 years that I have been running restaurants I have had my fair share of reviews – good and bad. Critics and reviewers have an important job to do, and it’s important that they are independent and have freedom of speech. However, the slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui’s social channels, were not professional. It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome, and Ms Hui’s comments around my Executive Chef and his wife, calling her a “token Asian wife”, were personal and hugely disrespectful. 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.

A post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram) on

Lucky Cat has yet to announce an official opening date.

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