Barry Tonks: The Violent and Racist British Chef at The Hemingways Hotel in Nairobi

Barry Tonks – “The Violent and Racist Chef”

Kenyans working at The Hemingways in Karen are unhappy lot. There is one person who spoils the day for all the workers at the facility. His name is Barry Tonks (on Twitter as @BarryTonks) who was employed by the Hemingways from the Bonds Restaurant in London. Barry has fits of rage where he calls the black Kenyans working at the premier hotel all manner of names (cunts, fucking twats, cavemen, calls a bartender black pudding coz he’s dark).

And as if that’s not enough, he throws plates and anything near him to whoever cooked it if it’s not good enough for him. People here are living in fear but no one wants to speak up.

Barry punishes the poor workers for trivial things that do not amount to any form of misconduct by making them work 12 hour shifts with no compensation for extra hours. A senior chef once took him on about him going against the working terms of peoples contracts of 8-hour days. He responded by saying, “I don’t fucking care.” Even after being told how illegal this is. He has fired (unprocedurally) three chefs in the three months.

Barry Tonks on The Trend with Larry Madowo

Just last Friday saw another incident where Barry Tonk’s second in command assaulted a female chef. Barry is personally working to cover this up by accusing the female chef of “provoking” his assistant. No one is willing to stand up to him because his is an expatriate and has created an environment where he is king. But the people he’s fired and shoved around are willing to tell their stories.

He treats people with contempt and insults us as a hobby. Workers at the facility have reported the assault on women to FIDA but even the organisation which claims to protect women is not listening to the poor workers.

In one of the recent incidences, a junior chef got a cut on the fingers and needed first aid. The chef was informed that Barry Tonks removed all first aid kits from the kitchen because “the black cunts” don’t deserve such and the nearest they can access is at the security desk because “the black cunts might want to steal the kit anyway.”  Barry Tonks as the head chef has been told to have a first aid kit in the kitchen. He won’t hear any of that.  Barry also say that the poor black workers don’t deserve sick offs because he has never fallen ill in his working life so we’re just playing around.

Another employee also injured his back and was advised by a doctor to rest a week.The chef told him to be back in 3 days. Another colleague was mugged and beaten badly, (because he left work at around midnight but the staff transport would not reach his gate) came to work limping and asked to be given a few days off and the chef just made fun of him. The staff in the kitchen who are working in a high risk area have no insurance whatsoever.

Please let’s rise up and demand that Hemingways either punish or sack this racist twat called Barry Tonks

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (


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  1. I’m not sure what the HR is like in Kenya but in London it can be quite efficient, not going into too much detail it’s clear to see a leopard never changes its spots. After working with this man I can compleatly understand and belive the points raised. After numerous complaints by several staff members ranging from small complaints to very big ones he was asked to leave his job. His reputation in London is not very good, I only can prey for the poor chefs that work with him in future. One chef was that abused by him he walk out leaving nobody to cook on the Josper. It’s really sad that this seems to be a common theme in this mans career.

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