Fallout over controversial Andrew Zimmern comments reaches Washington Post

This follows an interview where the chef called midwestern Chinese food "horse----."
Publish date:

The fallout over Andrew Zimmern's comments regarding Chinese food in the midwest isn't going away.

In fact, it's now national news, with the Washington Post doing a story on the way Asian-American chefs are responding to Zimmern's controversial remarks

In its article published Wednesday, the paper reports that a number of the Twin Cities restaurateurs have taken to opening pop-up eateries where they sell Asian dishes in boxes labeled "horse----" – a not-so-subtle reference to how Zimmern described Chinese food in the midwest in the now-infamous interview. 

The chefs, who include Eddie Wu, owner of Cook St. Paul (which serves Korean and American fare), tell the Washington Post the pop-ups are aimed at fostering conversations about "white privilege, cultural appropriation and casual racism."

For his part, Zimmern expresses deep regret to the paper with "tears welling in his eyes," as he talks about the impact his comments had on local chefs he knows and respects. 

The article also touches on the contradictions of Zimmern's new Chinese-American restaurant, the Lucky Cricket, which, in that same controversial interview, the chef had promised would be "saving the souls" of Midwesterners from inauthentic Chinese food. (You can read the piece in its entirety by clicking here.)

It opened in St. Louis Park to poor reviews earlier this month, with Soleil Ho of Eater noting the decidedly inauthentic presence of a tiki bar in the restaurant, and describing the place as a centaur: "two distinct organisms slapped together in an uncanny mess."

The reviewer also criticized the Lucky Cricket for its mishandling of "building-block Chinese dishes," saying, "if you can’t do noodles and rice, maybe try barking up someone else’s tree."

Zimmern has expressed hope that the restaurant will be the first of a large chain, with as many as 200 locations. 

Next Up