ANDREW Zimmern, chef and host of the Travel Channel TV series Bizarre Foods, has apologised for calling Chinese restaurants in the US Midwest “horseshit”.
Zimmern was criticised as culturally insensitive for making the remark when talking about his new Chinese restaurant in Minnesota city of Minneapolis. The interview was published on Nov 20.
“I’m saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at all these horseshit restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest,” the popular TV host has said.
A twitter storm followed with many in the Asian-American community describing Zimmern “tone deaf,” “colonising,” and “condescending.”
The Washington Post waded in the controversy and described the comment as insulting.
Zimmern issued an apology on Facebook on Nov 27for his “arrogant and patronising” remarks. He said his statement was a critique on the “commodification of Chinese and Chinese American cuisine and cultures in venues such as airports and some malls where I feel the food could be a lot better”.
“Here in Minnesota we have some of the most underrated Asian foods in the country all around us,” he wrote. “Just in the Twin Cities alone there is some spectacular Lao, Hmong, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese foods, but a fair percentage of Midwesterners sadly ignore many of those restaurants in favor of chains who’s food is simply not half as good.”
Watch the video here: