Television chef Andrew Zimmern has been dropped from his prime time Travel Channel slot following comments about Chinese food in the Midwest being served in “horses**t” restaurants.
The network’s owner Discovery, Inc. knocked “Bizarre Foods” and “The Zimmern List” into “a graveyard rotation slot on Saturday mornings,” according to Page Six.
Zimmern came under fire for his comments made last month while promoting Little Cricket, his new Midwestern Chinese restaurant chain, during an interview with Fast Company.
“I think I’m saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at these horses – – t restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest,” the James Beard Award-winning chef said, raising the ire of many in the Asian-American community.
“Someone else is going to be the next P.F. Chang’s, and I don’t want them to blow it. And is it up to me to do it? I certainly think I’m in the conversation,” he said at another point in the interview. “And just because I’m not Chinese, I leave that to the rest of the world to judge.”
“[He] has the noble cause of ‘saving’ white people from eating bad Chinese food. When Chinese people make Americanized Chinese food for white people, Zimmern calls it ‘horses – – t.’ But when he does it, it’s ‘unique,’ ” Ruth Tam wrote in The Washington Post.
A review of the chain in “Eater” called out the chef who “elevates himself to the position of being the person capable of opening middle America’s eyes to the myriad regional cuisines of a vast, diverse culture.”
Zimmern issued an apology to anyone he offended, according to Page Six.
“I am completely responsible for what I said and I want to apologize to anyone who was offended,” he said. “The upset that is felt in the Chinese American community is reasonable, legitimate and understandable, and I regret that I have been the one to cause it. That is the very last thing I would ever want to do.”
A Travel Channel representative insisted the decision to relegate the chef’s shows to the desolate weekend morning slot was made before his offending remarks.
“The shows, along with other food content on Travel, will no longer air on prime time, but on Saturday mornings in rotation. This decision came before Andrew’s comments were made, the representative said, according to Page Six.
Sources informed the publication that filming on Zimmern’s shows has been stopped mid-season and is not expected to resume. However, his shows on the Cooking Channel and the Food Network did not appear to be affected, according to Page Six..
In an interview with KARE-TV last month following the initial controversy, the chef admitted his comments were “flippant” and “careless” but noted some of his words were taken out of context.
Watch Zimmern’s interview with KARE’s Chris Hrapsky in the video below:
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