Top chef fired for suggesting “not everything” tastes better with gold in it
ABU DHABI: A top chef in the GCC has been removed from his position after making controversial remarks regarding regional cuisine.
In an interview published in the latest edition of regional food magazine Eat ME, Massimo Du Wonq, executive chef at Abu Dhabi’s highly acclaimed The Le French Restaurant, spoke about the popular use of gold as an ingredient in dishes served in many of the Middle East’s high-end eateries.
“I think in some cases having huge bits of gold doesn’t really enhance the flavour of certain dishes,” the three time winner of Middle East Chef of the Year award is quoted as saying. “For instance, gold flakes in ice-cream actually adds very little. I don’t even like it.”
Du Wonq’s outburst prompted an instant reaction, with many regional chefs denouncing his opinion across social media channels.
“It’s utterly absurd what he is saying,” said restaurateur Frederik Bintang on his Facebook page. “I have and will continue to add gold to each and every one of my dishes in an attempt to generate column inches in publications that have given up even trying to report on anything remotely interesting or genuinely informative.”
Others took to Twitter to express their outrage.
“Du Wonq is a joke, a disgrace to his profession,” said Albuquerque Wakkim, head chef at Dubai’s Snob Café, which last month launched the world’s first club sandwich made with real flecks of 24-carat gold.
Within hours of the quotes going viral, Le The French Restaurant yesterday issued a statement saying that it had “parted ways with Mr Du Wonq by mutual consent”.
In a move many have seen as a direct response to the criticism, this morning the restaurant announced the ‘All Gold Brunch’, in which every dish served would feature the precious metal in the ingredients.
Local luxury lifestyle website Luxury Lifestyle Website described the new offering as ‘the world’s most exclusive all-you-can-eat’, as copied directly from the press release.