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HomeFact Check‘Vegetarian’ Virat Kohli Ate Beef At Florida Restaurant? Viral ‘Bill’ Is Of...

‘Vegetarian’ Virat Kohli Ate Beef At Florida Restaurant? Viral ‘Bill’ Is Of Unrelated Incident

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Virat Kohli consumed beef at a restaurant in Florida.

Fact
Viral screenshot shows bill racked up by a couple who misread the menu at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Atlantic City.

A screenshot of a bill, purportedly shared by a Gordon Ramsay Steak chef on Instagram, has gone viral with the claim that Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who had reportedly turned vegetarian in 2018, consumed beef at a restaurant in Florida, USA, evoking outrage on social media.

“Meet the Biggest Fraud H!NDU @imVkohli !! Gives Gyan on Diwali and was eating BEEF with his wife.!! And his Paid PR portrayed him as some kind of Pure vegetarian. Shame on Virat Kohli, This guy don’t deserves to be a H!ndu,” read one such post on Twitter. The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

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Fact Check

Newschecker first looked up  “Pedro Gonzalez”, on Instagram, where we did not find any such account of a chef, as seen in the viral screenshot, indicating that it was altered. We also found that “Gordon Ramsay Steak” is a restaurant operating in the USA’s Las Vegas, Kansas City, Atlantic City, Lake Charles, Southern Indiana, Baltimore, but not in Florida, further raising our doubts.

We noticed that the purported Instagram post was dated October 19, 2021, when Kohli was in the UAE for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, having already played a warm-up match in Dubai on October 18 and gearing up for the tie against Pakistan on October 24, thus contradicting the viral claim that he was in Florida in October 2021.

We ran a reverse image search of the viral photo of Kohli dining with his actor-producer wife Anushka Sharma and their daughter, Vamika, which led us to this Instagram post, dated October 20, 2021, by the cricketer, showing the family having breakfast at a restaurant in Dubai.

Newschecker then ran a keyword search for “Gordon Ramsay steak bill $614”, which led us to multiple media reports across 2020 and 2021, sharing a photo of the viral bill, about a couple who made a reservation at Gordan Ramsay’s famous restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak, in Atlantic City in the US, and misread the cost for a particular Japanese beef (Kobe) while ordering their meal. The reports can be seen here, here, here and here.

“Visiting Atlantic City, US, with his girlfriend, Jeffrey Paige made a reservation for outdoor dining for Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s. He says he planned to splurge on some Wagyu beef, but saw that the “real deal” Triple Seared Japanese A5 was on the menu – also known as Kobe and widely considered to be the finest cut available. Jeffrey said he was surprised to see that it appeared to be cheaper than the American Wagyu, saying it cost about £26 for 4oz, compared to about £59 for 8oz of Wagyu,” read a Mirror report, dated September 1, 2020, adding that it turned out Jeffrey had misread the menu slightly, and the beef he had ordered was actually £26 per ounce with a minimum order size of 4oz – not £26 for 4 ounces.

“I had to read the menu again when the bill came, because for 2 people, the bill was over $600.00!,” read the report. A comparison of the bill featured in the media reports (right) with the viral screenshot (left) confirms it is the same. Although we could not independently confirm it is Jeffrey Paige’s bill, we could ascertain that the bill is not of Kohli’s restaurant visit.

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Conclusion

Viral screenshot of an unrelated restaurant bill falsely claimed as evidence of cricketer Virat Kohli consuming beef at a restaurant in Florida.  

Result: False

Sources
NDTV report, October 20, 2021
Mirror report, September 1, 2020
The Sun report, December 7, 2021


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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