‘Bizarre Foods’ Host Apologizes After Calling Midwest Chinese Restaurants ‘Horsesh*t’
The host of American television food show “Bizarre Foods” publicly apologized after he described Chinese restaurants in the Midwestern United States as “horsesh*t.”
While promoting his restaurant Lucky Cricket in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Andrew Zimmern discussed cultural appropriation in an interview with Fast Company and ironically bashed Chinese restaurants located in the Midwest.
“I’m saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at all these horseshit restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest,” he said, which, according to Eater, implies that “Chinese-American restaurants throughout the region are somehow illegitimate.”
People immediately took to social media to express outrage over Zimmern’s comments, which some called “tone deaf,” “colonizing,” and “condescending,” Shanghaiist reported.
Dear @andrewzimmern , I want to personally thank you for saving me, the son of Chinese refugees, from the “horseshit” Chinese restaurants my family built in the Twin Cities. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, but you sure seem to be tone deaf about our immigrant history.
Thinking about dad and every quart of Minnesota-style chicken chow mein (ground pork celery slop over crispy pre-packaged noodles) he’s served in 40 years. FYI, dad eats a bit of it every day-cause it’s delicious “horseshit.” He’d also out-Cantonese cook @andrewzimmern any day. https://t.co/HOsOXN9MrW
My parents never wanted to open restaurants. Dad wanted to be an architect or run a construction company? Mom wanted to be a teacher. So as a kid who grew up in one of these “horseshit” restaurants, fuck off Andrew Zimmern.https://t.co/LpqvLtg5S2
Here’s Andrew Zimmern’s new “authentic” Chinese restaurant, complete with tiki lounge, which he wants to expand to a chain of 200 in order to save Chinese cuisine from itself pic.twitter.com/3DVcTwW7NU
After the hate poured in, Zimmern addressed the situation by posting a lengthy apology letter on his Facebook account.
“Here in Minnesota we have some of the most underrated Asian foods in the country all around us. Just in the Twin Cities alone there is some spectacular Lao, Hmong, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese foods, but a fair percentage of Midwesterners sadly ignore many of those restaurants in favor of chains who’s food is simply not half as good. For many diners here the only Chinese food they know is what they see in airport fast food kiosks and malls,” he wrote.
“For those folks, I hope to open their eyes to the greatness of Chinese and Chinese-American cuisines and the people who put it on the plate. And hopefully, since Americans in general inhale other cultures first through their mouths, if they can love the food they can become more accepting and understanding of the people.”