‘Shut the f*ck up, Kevin’: Detroit chef calls out cultural ‘gatekeepers’ who ‘criticize their own’

TikTok chef

Detroit-based chef Jonathan Kung has gone viral after saying in a TikTok video that people should stop “gatekeeping” how others cook food from Chinese culture.

Gatekeeping Chinese food: “In the context of my field of expertise, I think gatekeeping is running its course,” Kung opens in the video. “I honestly don’t care who cooks this food anymore.”

  • He said he used to care about the subject, but it took him a long time to realize it’s not his place to determine who gets to learn Chinese culture.
  • “There’s been a lot of pain attached to being made to feel inferior because of the type of food I used to bring to school,” Kung explained. “But that story is so tired. And I realize that those issues won’t be dealt with by safeguarding my memory of food.”
  • He slammed users who watch food videos and “criticize their own people,” including him for making a dish differently than how their own family makes it.
  • “To which I say, shut the f**k up, Kevin,” Kung said. “Don’t come for me, or my food. Because your dead grandma’s dumplings were actually really doughy.”
  • “You’re an expert only on your memory, and not of the culture, so settle down,” he ended the video. “Take a seat.”

Reactions: Kung has received an outpouring of support since the video was first uploaded on TikTok and Twitter, where it has garnered more than 2 million and over 1 million views, respectively.

  • Others pointed out that cultural appropriation still exists when it comes to the authenticity of food.

Featured Image via @chefjonkung

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