"It was nothing if not a real life Ramsay kitchen nightmare"

Gordon Ramsay has defended his new Asian restaurant after receiving a scathing review

British chef Gordon Ramsay has responded to a scathing review about his new Asian restaurant.

For the first time since 2014, Ramsay is opening a new restaurant in London – Lucky Cat. Described as “an Asian eating house” by Ramsay himself, the restaurant will replace Maze.

Reviewer Angela Hui attended the opening of Ramsay’s new restaurant and wrote about her experience for Eater.

In her review, Hui slammed the restaurant, Ramsay and the entire evening’s experience.

Describing the restaurant, Hui said, “The pop-up dinner took place in a futuristic-looking plain white event space called Ice Tank in Soho, which felt more seedy nightclub than Asian eating house. Or, perhaps, that is Ramsay’s vision of a vibrant (nee “authentic”) Asian eating house.”

“It was nothing if not a real life Ramsay kitchen nightmare,” Hui said of her experience.

She pointed out that she was “the only east Asian person in a room full of 30-40 journalists and chefs”.

In one Instagram story, Hui said all she could do was “drink through the pain that this is an ‘Asian’ event.” In another, she described the restaurant’s theme as “Japanese? Chinese? It’s all Asian, who cares.”

Ramsay took to Instagram to express his disapproval of Hui’s review.

“Despite the very positive feedback from guests, there was, regrettably, one offensive response from the night which I have to call out,” Ramsay said of the event.

“The slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui’s social channels, were not professional,” Ramsay continued. “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.”

“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,” he concluded.

 

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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.

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However, the 52-year-old’s response only seemed to add fuel to the fire.

One Twitter user slammed Ramsay for only inviting one East Asian food journalist and getting offended by her response.

“You only invited one East Asian food journalist to your launch for an “Asian” restaurant and her understandably irritated piece on how you mash many cultures together without employing anyone from those cultural backgrounds is offensive to YOU???? LOOOOLLL”

Chinese American chef and restauranteur George Chen, a Chinese-American chef tweeted, “is the famous Chef going to curse at his white cooks in Asian or what? Every chef has a right to interpret another cuisine but the integrity and culture (read authenticity-albeit I hate that term) needs to be studied in depth and not whitewashed for marketing purposes!”

He also criticised Ramsay’s choice of name for his restaurant. “And what’s with all the ‘lucky’ naming deal…it’s like Charlie Chan stereotypes all over again,” Chen added.

In related news, a white woman recently found herself in hot water for opening a “clean” Chinese restaurant.

 

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