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Controversy Erupts Over Racially-Insensitive Photo from Cochon 555, Plus More Intel

Mini news bites for the morning

Erik Bruner-Yang
R. Lopez
Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.


There’s been a call out this week from a group of D.C. chefs against the national cooking competition Cochon 555, which posted a photo of a chef dressed in a racially-insensitive costume at an Asian speakeasy-themed event in Atlanta.

The photo was taken down by the organization, but Maketto’s Erik Bruner-Yang reposted it on his Instagram account to draw awareness to the issue of Asian stereotyping in the food world. Other local chefs like Danny Lee of Mandu and Jonah Kim, formerly of Yona, (all three have won Cochon 555 in the past) are speaking out against the incident; Lee plans to sever ties with the organization. Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe has released a video apology for to the incident. See Bruner-Yang’s statement, the photo, and the apology below. [WaPo/Instagram/YouTube]

The Shutter

Yet another restaurant loss in Clarendon. This time, it’s Amsterdam Falafelshop, which really hasn’t been there all that long — the late-night haunt opened two years ago. That means at least eight restaurants have shuttered this year in the Arlington neighborhood. The falafel chain also recently had plans to expand to Dupont Circle fall through. [ARLNOW, PoP]

Eater Tracking

Michael Voltaggio says the steakhouse he’s opening at the MGM National Harbor Casino with his brother, Bryan, will be “family-oriented.” Find more details about his plans for the project in this interview. [Washingtonian]