Michelin Guide removes restaurant from website over racist comments

Germany’s Im Schiffchen restaurant has reportedly been removed from the Michelin Guide website after comments made by chef Jean-Claude Bourgueil were deemed racist.

French chef Bourgueil of Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf posted the remarks on his personal Facebook page last week, according to dw.com.

Announcing the restaurant’s reopening following the easing of lockdown rules in parts of Germany, he wrote: “We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!” Screenshots of the now deleted post were subsequently widely circulated on social media and Bourgueil’s comments were condemned and branded racist.

After the online backlash, the chef issued an apology for what he referred to as a “thoughtless statement” that was “formulated completely wrong”. He said that his words were not a reference to the Chinese population as a whole, but rather the “dictators” in the country.

He added: “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.

“People of nine different nationalities work at our restaurant. My wife is Asian and I myself am a foreigner in this land. Rest assured, I can be accused of many things, but certainly not racism, and I do not tolerate it.”

However, the damage appears to have been done. The Michelin Guide released a statement condemning Bourgueil’s actions on its WeChat account on 15 May, according to several Chinese media outlets. 

The statement, which has not been published on the guide’s other social channels, reads: “Respecting everyone is one of Michelin’s core values ​​and is rooted in Michelin’s corporate genes. We will never tolerate any form of racial discrimination.”

The guide said it had taken the decision to remove Im Schiffchen’s entry on its recommendation list on its official website.

Bourgueil, 73, has been working at Im Schiffchen since 1977. Under his tenure the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars in 1987, an accolade it held for 16 years. The restaurant held two stars from 2007 to 2018, before dropping to one star.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: late-night venues express anger at their lack of government support, landlord Shaftesbury announces it has only collected 41% of rents in the first half of the year and Adam Handling introduces Chelsea to wagyu and wine Wednesdays. 

Scottish university students told not to go to pubs

University students in Scotland have been told to avoid going to pubs, bars and restaurants this weekend in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

UK coronavirus curfew like 'shooting the wounded' says top chef

New restrictions imposed on the UK hospitality sector in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19 have been described by one Michelin-starred chef as tantamount to “shooting the wounded”.

The French Laundry launches lavish US$850 dining experience

Chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred Napa restaurant The French Laundry has launched a lavish $850 per person private dining experience.

Quarter of hospitality venues believe they could fail in three months

New findings from the British Beer & Pub Association and other hospitality industry bodies show that almost a quarter of their members believe their businesses could fail in the next three months without support.

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: late-night venues express anger at their lack of government support, landlord Shaftesbury announces it has only collected 41% of rents in the first half of the year and Adam Handling introduces Chelsea to wagyu and wine Wednesdays. 

Scottish university students told not to go to pubs

University students in Scotland have been told to avoid going to pubs, bars and restaurants this weekend in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

UK coronavirus curfew like 'shooting the wounded' says top chef

New restrictions imposed on the UK hospitality sector in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19 have been described by one Michelin-starred chef as tantamount to “shooting the wounded”.

The French Laundry launches lavish US$850 dining experience

Chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred Napa restaurant The French Laundry has launched a lavish $850 per person private dining experience.

Quarter of hospitality venues believe they could fail in three months

New findings from the British Beer & Pub Association and other hospitality industry bodies show that almost a quarter of their members believe their businesses could fail in the next three months without support.