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Chinese Chef Lashes Out After White Sister-In-Law Makes Racist Comments About Their Cooking

Aleksandar Nakic/Getty Images

Words can expose people for who they really are.

What people have long thought were jokes are now being exposed as blatant racism.

And the fallout is vast and swift.

Case in point…

Redditor throwaway23235982353 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for calling my SIL a racist after she compared my cooking to ‘making kung pao chicken?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“For context: I’ve been married to my wife for ~10 years and we’re a mixed-race couple.”

“I’m Asian and she’s Caucasian.”

“I’ve gotten along with her family (M[other] I[n] L[aw], B[rother] I[n] L[aw], S[isiter] I[n] L[aw]), but I always felt like her F[ather] I[n] L[aw] and other S[isiter]I[n]L[aw] Sarah never liked me.”

“I’m a professionally trained chef with 15+ years of experience and I work at a high-end Chinese restaurant (a spin-off of a popular one in Beijing) in a large US city.”

“My crew and I have won several awards.”

“And I’ve been explicitly told I’ll be the next executive chef.”

“Sarah is also a professionally trained chef and works at a popular upscale French restaurant in the city.”

“She constantly brags about it and (no joke) compares herself out loud to Ramsay and Bourdain.”

“Whenever I’m at my MIL and FIL’s house and helping out in the kitchen, Sarah is always criticizing everything I do.”

“Whether it’s chopping, braising, marinating, etc.”

“She always butts in with comments like ‘Umm, I think you should actually do X like this…'”

“I’ve been patient for my wife and sidestepping those comments, saying things like ‘Thanks, but I think I’ll stick to the way I do it.'”

“Things came to a head two weeks ago when my wife, FIL, MIL, and I were in her parent’s kitchen prepping dinner for my MIL’s birthday.”

“We were running a bit behind so things were heated (which I kind of like because it reminded me of work).”

“And that’s when Sarah walked in.”

“She took one look at what I was doing, scoffed, and said something like ‘Oh wow, okay, so that’s not the right way of doing things.'”

“It hit a nerve and I pretty sternly told her to stop criticizing my cooking and that I’m also a chef like her.”

“She laughed and said ‘making Kung Pao chicken at some Chinese restaurant doesn’t count.'”

“The kitchen went silent, FIL snorted/chuckled, and my MIL yelled ‘SARAH, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!'”

“I stopped what I was doing, swore at her, and called her ‘a racist piece of s**t.'”

“I apologized to my MIL for not being able to stay, and left for home with my wife.”

“Apparently this caused a massive fight after we left, with my MIL/BIL/other SIL taking my side and my FIL/Sarah saying ‘it was a joke but kind of true’ and that I was ‘being too sensitive.'”

“The extended family somehow got wind of this and now everyone is arguing and taking sides, with my wife even getting texts from some of her cousins apologizing for Sarah’s behavior.”

“Despite being on my side, my wife is begging me to apologize so that the fighting will stop, but I refuse to because f**k Sarah and her blatant racism.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA, ‘cooking asian food doesn’t count as cooking’ IS racist, incredibly uncalled for, and shows how much of an entitled know-it-all Sarah is.”

“Glad most people over there are on your side, but yeah, don’t apologize when you did nothing wrong.”  ~ REDDIT

“Unless she’s head/executive chef, it’s not even her kitchen at work!”

“NTA OP. If she’s in trouble at work, she likely said more racist sh*t there.”

“That is not on you!”  ~ xlxcx

“Sarah’s head might explode if she met a chef from an Asian-French fusion background, like Vietnamese.”

“NTA and OP needs to tell his wife that he won’t be spending time with her sister or father for a while.” ~ Fredredphooey

“NTA. And I would love to see ‘Ms Gorden Ramsey’ try her hand at Asian cuisine.”

“She’s a top-tier chef so she should be able to show OP how it’s done/sarcasm.” ~ SkysEevee

“NTA. I’m disappointed in your wife.”

“Enabling her racist sister and dad over her husband is not a good look.”

“And with the edit, apparently Sarah can’t keep her racist mouth shut anywhere and that consequence is on her.” ~ Born-Pineapple

“Please, for f**ks sake OP, DO NOT APOLOGIZE!!

“Sarah is racist, it may well have been a joke… but it was a freaking racist joke.”

“I’d be go**amm livid that your wife is telling you to apologize.”

“That is disgusting behavior from her, and she’s saying that racism is acceptable, even when it’s against someone she loves.”

“At least there are some in her family who don’t think racism is fine.”

“I’d be going scorched earth over this s**t!”  ~ ADG1983

“NTA. If she gets in trouble at work that’s on her.”

“They don’t fire good chefs for a simple remark at home.”

“They might however fire a bad person or chef over something like that.”

“She was attacking your career… not cool.”

“What was the FIL’s career? Where’d he work?” ~ Idontcare100989

“I agree with this.”

“Chinese cuisine has been developing for several thousand years.”

“It’s intricate and complex.”

“If Sarah can’t appreciate it at all, she’s probably a terrible chef herself.”

“If she loses her job, it has nothing to do with you and was bound to happen anyway.”

“NTA and you don’t owe her an apology.”

“Frankly, you might be doing her a disservice if you apologize.”

“As a side note- good for your MIL.”  ~ laffydaffy24

“NTA. That whole ‘Classic French cuisine is superior to all those other ‘ethnic’ foods you cook’ mentality is thinly veiled white supremacy and racism.”

“Your wife should be urging her sister and father to apologize to you, since they disrespected you.”  ~ ForgottenSalad

OP came back with more details…

“My wife has also informed me that now Sarah may be in trouble at work and she’s blaming me for it.”

“Apparently one of her co-workers heard her rant about what happened and reported it to management.”

“To clarify Sarah is blaming me, though my wife is partly blaming me.”

“So it looks like one of my wife’s cousins found this post and put it on Sarah’s Facebook wall going ‘This is you right?…'”

“Her FB friends are starting to comment with things like ‘If this is you Sarah then I’m disappointed.'”

“I think Sarah’s still at work – sh*t might be hitting the fan soon and now my wife is pissed too.”

“Will try to update but might have to delete post if things go nuclear.”

“Was considering removing but I just got a voicemail from my FIL that ‘[my] presence was only being tolerated up until this point’ and threatened a ‘world of hurt’ if I didn’t delete this post.”

“Officially going to keep this post up and if you’re still reading this Doug – I’m very disappointed in you, you’re better than this.”

“UPDATE: Lots of stuff just went down.”

“My wife got a call from my SIL.”

“(From wife’s paraphrasing) Sarah started screaming/crying at her the moment my wife picked up.”

“And said that she just got demoted because of ‘[her] {Asian slur} husband.'”

“Apparently some of her co-workers have her on FB and showed the post to management.”

“Which combined with her earlier rant, double-whammied her back to being a line cook and now she might get fired.”

“My wife told her to go f**k herself and is now solidly on my side after taking the verbal abuse from Sarah and reading some of the comments here.”

“My wife is still the opposite of happy though.”

“My wife called MIL and asked her WTF was going on with FIL.”

“MIL was confused so my wife played back the voicemail I had on my phone and apparently my MIL literally just walked away from the phone without hanging up and started screaming at FIL.”

“Facebook post has now devolved into a clusterf**k flame war with family and friends jumping in.”

“Suffice to say, it has officially gone nuclear.”

“Me right now?”

“I think I’m going to have to call this a day, will make an update post when the dust settles.”

“Thanks again folks.”

The OP had one big update to share.

“I’d like to clarify that I got my wife and MIL’s permissions to post this update (out respect for them and their privacy).”

“Suffice to say, it’s been kind of nuts this past week.”

“My wife and I had to turn off social media for a bit because of the sh**storm caused by her cousin putting my last post on Sarah’s Facebook page.”

“Some people even tried to call the restaurant I work at to get me fired as retribution.”

“But luckily everyone they are 100% on my side (or as my boss put it “F**k [Sarah], f**k those racists, f**k them so go**amn much”).”

“I guess it didn’t help them that half the calls involved threats, screaming, and more racial slurs.”

“We didn’t hear any updates from her family, even though we assumed the crap met fan after MIL found out about FIL’s threatening voicemail (still disappointed in you, Doug).”

“But that changed on Sunday night when MIL suddenly showed up at our door with overnight bags.”

“After we took a moment to help unpack and calm down, she spilled the beans on everything.”

“FIL (aka Doug)…”

“Apparently my MIL and FIL were already having trouble in their marriage, and it was only made worse with a certain 2016 Presidential election (she’s a Dem, and he had apparently gone more far-right since then).”

“Seems that a line was crossed with the ‘Kung Pao Incident’ and his voicemail.”

“When he refused to apologize for anything (typical Doug), she asked for a divorce and he went berserk.”

“She didn’t feel safe there so that’s when she came over (other BIL and SIL live out of town).”

“You may have been able to tell already, but the extended family was largely arguing/fighting/divided along political lines for a few years now and my cousin’s FB post was likely just the light to set off the powder keg.”

“According to my MIL, the fallout has allegedly already led to some break-ups, ex-communication of some family members, and even an argument that ended with police involvement.”

“Haven’t verified this myself though.”


“According to my MIL, Sarah came over to her place on Friday.”

“The writing was on the wall and she was basically forced to quit.”

“Despite her trying to start from scratch as a line cook, the entire staff turned against her.”

“Nothing was coming back from the (dish) pit for her and she was getting the cold shoulder.”

“She’s a great chef (I will admit this is true), but they took no chances since it turns out (s**t you not)… they’re partly owned by a Chinese investment company.”

“Found this hard to believe and didn’t want to add this detail, but it turned out to be true after some research (won’t say any further for privacy).”

“Word also got around in the local industry, and Sarah is essentially blacklisted from high-end establishments.”

“She’s now considering selling her home and moving to find work.”

“As much as I don’t like her and found her behavior horrifying, I didn’t intend for this to happen so I’ve reached out to some buds in other states to see if they had any openings.”

“Whether or not she wants to take it is up to her (and no, she has not apologized for anything either – but I still want to be a decent person to her).”

“It sure as hell doesn’t feel like a happy ending.”

“Perhaps bittersweet justice, but that’s all I can give you.”

“Thank you all for your support and for reading.”

Well OP… that is quite the story.

Wow. Reddit clearly has your back.

You have every right to defend yourself.

Hopefully one day everyone can find some healing and peace in this situation.

Good luck.