Restaurants are reopening in Germany—but one chef in Dusseldorf has managed to alienate many customers before a single post-lockdown meal was served. Jean-Claude Bourgueil, the French chef at Im Schimmchen, made a remark this week on his personal Facebook page that critics called "sickening," Deutsche Welle reports. "We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!" the 73-year-old chef wrote. Dusseldorf has a large Asian population and cities across Germany have seen a rise in anti-Asian racism since the start of the pandemic. Bourgueil later removed the post and claimed it had been misunderstood.
Bourgueil said he had not been referring to Chinese people in general, but to the "strongmen" that rule the country, Westdeutsche Zeitung reports. "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," Bourgueil said in a statement on the restaurant's official Facebook page. "People of nine different nationalities work at our restaurant. My wife is Asian and I myself am a foreigner in this land." He added: "Rest assured, I can be accused of many things, but certainly not racism and I do not tolerate it." (Read more Germany stories.)