30th June 2019
Tamarind Collection has “removed” three members of staff from the restaurant after they complained that Michelin-starred chef Karunesh Khanna was using Knorr chicken stock in vegetarian, vegan and halal dishes without informing customers, an employment tribunal has heard.
According to official documents two assistant restaurant managers were made redundant after complaining about the chef’s use of Knorr chicken stock powder in both meat and vegetarian dishes at Tamarind Kitchen. The managers claimed that the ingredient was not disclosed to customers.
Fateh Dhaliwal, Tamarind Kitchen’s director, denied the site had used chicken stock powder in vegan or vegetarian meals. He also denied all other allegations made in Mr Ali’s successful employment tribunal hearing, which referred solely to alleged practices at Tamarind Kitchen.
The site’s restaurant manager, who had said he had not wanted to remove the two employees, was given a month’s paid leave, according to the documents.
The judge heard that at least six front of house staff had complained on religious and ethical grounds after unknowingly selling dishes containing the stock powder to Muslim customers who had requested halal food.
When put to the chef, he is claimed to have have said “guests don’t need to know what ingredients” are used. The issue was later brought up with Dhaliwa, who is said to have told staff to continue selling dishes as if they were suitable for all dietary requirements – and added that any staff who would not do so “need to be phased out”.
The tribunal returned a verdict that the claimant, Mr M Ali, was unfairly dismissed for making a protected interest disclosure. He will now be reimbursed for notice pay, holiday pay and arrears.