The chef of a well-known German restaurant stirred up outrage when he announced his eatery’s reopening by declaring, “No Chinese wanted,” according to a report.
Jean-Claude Bourgueil, a renowned cook at the French eatery Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf, made the controversial comment on Facebook after the business was shuttered for months during the country’scoronavirus lockdown.
“We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!” the 73-year-old chef wrote on Wednesday, according todw.com.
But the cook quickly found himself in hot water, with observers blasting the comment as “racist” and “sickening.”
“Im Schiffchen should be ashamed,” one critic fumed. “What Jean Claude Bourgueil said is just sickening. A wimp and liar.”
Bourgueil later apologized, calling it a “thoughtless statement” that he “formulated completely wrong.” He claimed the remark was not in reference to Chinese people, but rather the “dictators” and “strongmen” in the country.
“I am a child of the French revolution and detest all dictators in this world. Dictators that oppress their citizens and punish people with death,” he posted in a statement, according to the paper.
“People of nine different nationalities work at our restaurant. My wife is Asian and I myself am a foreigner in this land,” it continued. “Rest assured, I can be accused of many things, but certainly not racism and I do not tolerate it.”
The restaurant’s Facebook now page appears to be disabled and could not be accessed as of Friday afternoon.
Asian people in Germany and across the world havefaced widespread discriminationdue to the spread of the coronavirus, which is believed to have first emerged in Wuhan, China.