Celebrity Chefs

Chef Roy Choi blasts restaurant critic for using phrase "teenagers of color" in review

Chef Roy Choi attends a press conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2015.

Chef Roy Choi attends a press conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2015.

The West Coast food world is buzzing about Roy Choi’s new upscale fast food project, LocoL, with locations in Oakland, Calif. and Los Angeles. 

But SF Weekly reviewer Peter Lawrence Kane recently rubbed the father of the food truck movement the wrong way. 

In a review published July 6, Kane described the restaurant as “too loud,” and wrote that his own “pasty ass” sat at a restaurant staffed by “teenagers of color.” 

Choi criticized the reviewer’s use of the reviewer's choice of phrase and racial insensitivity, tweeting a response to the piece that said, “How does color matter? Not funny.”

Choi also responded with a photo of his staffers, calling the teen cooks his "family."

Kane has since updated the piece by deleting the offensive phrases and adding an editor’s note, which is included in full here:

“After running it by some friends whose judgment I trust, this story has been updated to delete a self-deprecating passage that struck some readers as being in poor taste. 

"Errors of clarity fall on the writer, so I apologize: First for being glib and ambiguous, second for the unfortunate timing of people reading a food review that included a lame joke about me being a white goofball on a day when everyone is also reading about Alton Sterling's murder, and third for even the insinuation that something was awry with respect to my interaction with LocoL's staff. I had mixed feelings about the restaurant overall, but the staff rocks.”