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Michelin-starred chef accused of putting Knorr chicken stock cubes in vegan curries


Karunesh Khanna, executive chef of the Tamarind chain of Indian restaurants, has admitted using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour his dishes. (Photo: Facebook)
Karunesh Khanna, executive chef of the Tamarind chain of Indian restaurants, has admitted using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour his dishes. (Photo: Facebook)

A MICHELIN-starred chef is accused of putting Knorr chicken stock cubes in his vegetarian dishes.

Chef Karunesh Khanna, who has cooked for celebrities such as David Beckham and Charlize Therone, reportedly told a manager that “guests don’t need to know” after six staff members complained.

Accusations against the executive chef of the upmarket Tamarind chain of Indian restaurants emerged during an employment tribunal case brought by an employee who lost his job after he told bosses about the use of the cubes.

Tamarind director Fateh Dhaliwal is believed to have backed his chef and said: “Those members of staff need to be phased out.”

According to legal documents, Khanna admitted to using Knorr stock cubes at Tamarind Kitchen in Soho, central London.

Assistant manager Mafis Ali told a sous chef in June 2018 that he was worried about the use of the stock. When Khanna refused to tell waiters about the use of chicken stock cubes, Ali emailed senior chefs saying guests were being duped over whether dishes were truly vegan.

Khanna, who 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”, the tribunal heard.

Ali was fired two weeks after the row and a judge ruled that his dismissal was unfair.

Ali will be awarded damages of up to one month’s wages – around £2,500 – at a remedy hearing in September.