The famous Michelin Guide have removed a famous French chef’s top restaurant from their website after he said “Chinese people not welcome!!!”
Jean-Claude Bourgueil, 73, had said on Facebook a few days ago that his ‘Im Schiffchen’ (‘In the Boat’ in German) restaurant in Dusseldorf in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, was reopening, but then adding: “Chinese people not wanted !!!”
The statement caused outrage online and now the famous Michelin Guide has deleted the chef’s restaurant from their website as a result.
Bourgueil, who has lived in Dusseldorf since 1970, had even drawn the ire of the Mayor of Dusseldorf, Thomas Geisel, who said: “We will not accept that Dusseldorf natives whether from Asia or anywhere are racially insulted or discriminated against because of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is not a Chinese phenomenon.”
Bourgueil, who was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, the highest order of merit in France, in 2004 for his services as a “culinary ambassador of France in Germany”, has said he is horrified by what he has done, adding: “I wouldn’t do it again. I f*cked up.”
He says that in the post, he had wanted to express his criticism of China’s “dictatorial government and power”.
After the post caused outrage, another statement surfaced on the official Facebook page of the restaurant, saying that he had “made a thoughtless statement” that he “formulated completely wrongly”.
The chef also wrote: “I am a child of the French Revolution and loathe all dictators in the world. Dictators who oppress their people and even punish people with death. We had this kind of experience in Europe in the last century. My statement– which is certainly unfortunate – should in no way refer to the Chinese population, but to their rulers.”
He added: “Be assured, I can be accused of a few things, but certainly not racism and I will not tolerate it.”
He also apologised to anyone he had hurt with his statement.
Bourgeuil had three Michelin Stars in 1987, which the restaurant kept until 2006. From 2007 to 2018, the restaurant had two stars and as of July 2018, when it merged with another restaurant, it has had only one star.
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