It’s a chef’s worst nightmare, to have one’s restaurant removed from the famed Michelin Guide of fine dining.
But this fellow clearly had it coming.
A German restaurant was removed by the Michelin Guide, which rates restaurants around the world with a ranking of stars, after its chef said it doesn’t welcome Chinese, The Global Times reported.
The comment drew claims of racism and provoked Chinese in Germany, who complained to local media and the Guide over the incident.
The chef and owner of high-end restaurant Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf recently made the improper comments on Facebook when he announced his eatery’s reopening after a lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, The Global Times reported.
“We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!” wrote the chef, Jean-Claude Bourgueil.
The Global Times found that the reported posts were not available on the chef’s Facebook account on Sunday.
The comment immediately triggered outrage in the public, especially among overseas Chinese in Germany, the report said. Floods of netizens expressed their condemnation over the racist remark. Many called for a boycott of the restaurant.
Challenged by the backfire, the chef issued a statement saying his comments were “thoughtless and completely wrong.”
He did not mean any harm to the Chinese, but to the Chinese “governor,” he said. However, his followup comments failed to quell public anger.
The Michelin Guide on Friday strongly criticized the chef’s discriminatory remarks on its WeChat account, saying it had decided to remove the restaurant from the list of recommended establishments, The Global Times reported.
The restaurant’s ratings on major websites have plummeted, with only a score of 2.2 (out of 5) on Google reviews, according to media reports.
The Global Times on Sunday searched the restaurant on Michelin Guide’s official global website but no results showed up.
A Chinese student surnamed Chen who studies in Munich, Germany, told the Global Times on Sunday that she and her many Chinese friends had learned of the incident and would not go to the restaurant if they visited Düsseldorf.
The incident is not an isolated case but a reflection of the rise of racism and xenophobia during the pandemic, Zhu Wei, a communications researcher at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, told the Global Times.
Some Western media and politicians have hyped rumors against China and tried to smear Chinese people during the pandemic, which attracted “unthinking” local followers, Zhu said.