Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay attempted to clap back at a food critic who dragged his upcoming Lucky Cat restaurant, but his effort wasn’t met with a great deal of support.
On Friday, the restaurateur turned to his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts to accuse Angela Hui of writing an “offensive response” after a preview night for his new London restaurant. Ramsay has previously described Lucky Cat as a “brand-new authentic Asian Eating House,” helmed by white chef Ben Orpwood.
Hui wrote in a review for Eater last Thursday that the preview was “nothing if not a real life Ramsay kitchen nightmare.” There “appeared to be some confusion over the particular source of inspiration for Lucky Cat,” she noted, adding images from a related Instagram Story in which she asked whether the restaurant claimed to be Japanese or Chinese.
“It’s all asian who cares,” Hui sarcastically wrote.
In another snarky line in the Eater review, she pointed out that the chef had served “Smoked duck breast with plumb [sic] (note: it appeared with that spelling on the menu) and nashi (Japanese pear).”
She also wrote that she was the sole East Asian person in a room filled with dozens of journalists and chefs.
Ramsay hit back the next day, calling the commentary in Hui’s social media posts “derogatory and offensive.”
“It is fine to not like my food, but prejudice and insults are not welcome,” he wrote, criticizing Hui for calling Orpwood’s wife a “token Asian wife.”
“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,” the restaurateur wrote.
Hui’s social media accounts have since been set to private. However, many social media users came to her defense, asking Ramsay whether he was aware of his own insensitivities:
Lucky Cat had already drawn criticism when Ramsay announced in February that it would be opening. Many questioned Ramsay’s claim to bring “authentic” Asian cuisine to the restaurant’s London neighborhood when it didn’t even have an Asian chef at the helm. And others pointed out that the restaurant’s description as an “Asian eating house” lumped together many diverse cultures, presenting the food of billions of Asians as monolithic.