Star Chef Says 'No Chinese Wanted' at Reopening

He later said he was referring to 'dictators'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2020 3:24 AM CDT
Updated May 17, 2020 3:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

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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.)

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