Detroit-based chef Jonathan Kung has gone viral after saying in a TikTok video that people should stop “gatekeeping” how others cook food from Chinese culture.
Gatekeeping Chinese food: “In the context of my field of expertise, I think gatekeeping is running its course,” Kung opens in the video. “I honestly don’t care who cooks this food anymore.”
He said he used to care about the subject, but it took him a long time to realize it’s not his place to determine who gets to learn Chinese culture.
“There’s been a lot of pain attached to being made to feel inferior because of the type of food I used to bring to school,” Kung explained. “But that story is so tired. And I realize that those issues won’t be dealt with by safeguarding my memory of food.”
He slammed users who watch food videos and “criticize their own people,” including him for making a dish differently than how their own family makes it.
“To which I say, shut the f**k up, Kevin,” Kung said. “Don’t come for me, or my food. Because your dead grandma’s dumplings were actually really doughy.”
“You’re an expert only on your memory, and not of the culture, so settle down,” he ended the video. “Take a seat.”
Reactions: Kung has received an outpouring of support since the video was first uploaded on TikTok and Twitter, where it has garnered more than 2 million and over 1 million views, respectively.
Others pointed out that cultural appropriation still exists when it comes to the authenticity of food.
Featured Image via @chefjonkung
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