Karunesh Khanna, a Michelin-starred chef has been accused of flouting a major culinary rule after he allegedly used chicken stock cubes in his vegan and vegetarian dishes without informing customers in London.
Reportedly, the allegations against Khanna emerged after his assistant manager Mafis Ali filed an employment tribunal case against the chef. Mafis Ali had lost his job after he had alerted his bosses that Khanna used chicken in the vegan dishes.
Khanna, who owns an Indian-themed ‘Tamarind’ chain of restaurants in London, has reportedly admitted that he had been using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour his dishes adding to a manager that ‘guests don’t need to know’.
Karunesh Khanna, a Michelin-starred chef who has previously cooked for A-list stars such as footballer David Beckham, Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron and trained at The Dorchester, Four Seasons, The Ritz and Claridge’s hotels, “made it clear that he was not going to disclose the use of Knorr chicken powder to guests”, as stated in the Tribunal case.
Reportedly, Ali had said that the chicken stock cubes in the dishes would not be suitable for Muslims because the stock was not halal. In 2018, six members of staff demanded to speak to Khanna after several complaints were raised over the issue.
The judge has now ruled that the former assistant manager Ali was unfairly dismissed and that the employee should be awarded damages, limited to one month’s wages of around £2,500 (over Rs two lakh), at a hearing on September 23.