Here’s a tip: Never tell Asian people how to eat their native food “properly” if you know nothing about it.
An online foodie magazine thought it would be a great idea to create a guide on how to eat Pho, a popular Vietnamese dish, with an American chef who serves Vietnamese food in his restaurant in Philadelphia.
Reactions from Asian viewers of the video, however, highly indicated that his “proper consumption techniques” did not sit well with the people who grew up eating the delicacy.
Philly-based chef Tyler Akin of Stock restaurant talked about his set of rules one must follow to “get the most out of your soup” via a two-minute video.
He stressed in the video that adding Sriracha or hoisin sauce destroys the broth’s flavor that the chef worked hard to prepare. He stated that before adding any customization to the soup, it is best to try the broth first to ensure that you can taste the dish as the chef intended it.
… But then he immediately advises viewers to “squeeze as much lime as they give you.”
He also showed how one should use a chopstick with a technique that he said would give you the most amount of noodles in one go.
The video even claims that “pho is the new ramen.”
While the video, with an accompanying article called “PSA: This Is How You Should be Eating Pho,” may be well intended, some viewers who have been eating the native dish all their lives felt a little off with some outsider telling them how to eat their cuisine.
The video was also posted on Facebook with the title “How to Eat Pho” and has racked up over 1.2 million views so far — along with a number of negative comments.
The restaurant’s Yelp page has also been flooded with 1-star reviews since the video went viral.
Since the backlash, Bon Appétit Magazine has released the following statement on Facebook and changed the title From “PSA: This Is How You Should be Eating Pho” to “We’re in Love With This Pho”
Tyler Akin also gave his side of the story:
[Update: 9-14-16 4:36 p.m. PST] A now-deleted Instagram post has surfaced of Tyler Akin publicly shaming a rival Pho restaurant.
[Update: 9-8-16 9:16 a.m. PST] The videos have been taken down from YouTube and Facebook. However, we’ve found a re-uploaded version on YouTube.
[Update: 9-9-16 12:52 p.m. PST] Bon Appétit Magazine issued a non-apology. Tyler Akin releases following statement to Philly Voice: “My only comment is that I never intended to offend anybody — and I think that’s all I can say.”