Each to their own?

Well known Brummie chef Aktar Islam has been bemoaning the stereotyping of ethnic chefs as only being good for cooking their own type of cuisine.  I can understand his view as a very talented and versatile chef although there is a flip side certainly in marketing terms. Most prospective diners visit a restaurant which they think does a specific cuisine well and assume that this stems from the owner or chef’s upbringing or background in that culture and style of cuisine. For example, seeing a white guy running an Afro Caribbean restaurant could make the diner feel, rightly or wrongly, that it lacks authenticity. Strangely enough balti is probably an exception because although most owners are from a Pakistani origin, this Brummie fusion dish could equally be cooked by somebody else … the long lamented Mr. Dave’s in Lye being a prime example!

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