A renowned restaurant in Germany has been removed from the Michelin Guide after its celebrity chef declared that Chinese people were not welcome upon the restaurant’s reopening.
Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf reopened earlier this month after being closed for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The restaurant’s French head chef, Jean Claude Bourgueil, celebrated the moment with a Facebook post in which he wrote: “We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!”
In the face of public outrage, Bourgueil attempted to walk back his post. On Im Schiffchen’s Facebook page, he tried to claim that it was actually a political statement against Chinese government oppression and referring to China’s “dictators” not its people.
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.
As you might expect, that “clarification” didn’t go over too well. Im Schiffchen’s Facebook page has vanished as has its Michelin star.
On Friday, the Michelin Guide condemned Bourgueil on its WeChat account, announcing that it was removing Im Schiffchen from its list of recommended restaurants. Indeed, the establishment is now nowhere to be found on the culinary guide’s website.
Bourgueil has been at Im Schiffchen for more than 40 years. He has published two books and been awarded with a French Order of the Legion Honor for serving as a “culinary ambassador of France and Germany.”