The former assistant manager of Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Tamarind in Mayfair, London, has won a legal dispute with the restaurant after he was made redundant when he raised concerns regarding the use of Knorr chicken stock in vegetarian dishes.
According to employment tribunal documents, on 4 June Mafis Ali made a verbal request to sous chef Manish Sharma to inform the waiters of the use of the stock by the recently appointed executive chef Karunesh Khanna so the correct information could be given to customers. However, he was informed by Sharma that said the information was accurate and they should carry on as they were.
Ali felt this was “wrong and misleading and that he was being ignored” and said as the launch of the new menu approached, he did not feel he had an accurate description for his team.
He then sent an email on 11 June 2018 to all the senior chefs including the new executive chef about the accuracy of the dietary requirements and the description of the meat free products. Later, on 13 and 18 June, he raised the same concerns to restaurant manager Shaoib Malik concerning “the urgency of the allergen information for the launch of the new menus”.
He also expressed doubts about the chicken stock cubes being halal and concerns about people with allergies. Ali was made redundant two weeks after along with another restaurant manager and one employee.
Following his successful tribunal hearing in September, Ali was awarded damages of up to one month’s wages, or £2,000.