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Black Chef Defends “Racist” Lunch Menu

NBC Chef Leslie Calhoun

NBC Chef Leslie Calhoun

An African-American chef is fighting back against allegations of racism for her choice of a Soul Food lunch menu celebrating Black History Month.

The controversy started last Thursday after a cellphone pic of the NBC commissary menu was taken by Jimmy Fallon Show drummer, Questlove. Titled “In Honor of Black History Month,” the lunch offered fried chicken, collard greens, and other delicacies associated with African-Americans. The Roots drummer tweeted the pic to his followers, implying that Human Resources should investigate the issue for possible racism.

Racist?

Racist?

The pic was quickly re-twittered by thousands of Questlove’s followers and soon broke into the mainstream news. In a few hours, NBC took down the questionable sign and issued an apology.

“The month of February is Black History Month,” explains NBC chef Leslie Calhoun, “so we [at the NBC commissary] have always been trying to get something [on the menu in celebration of the month].” After getting the ok from the Head Chef, a trial menu was tested last year with great success.

This year, Calhoun was given the right to choose NBC’s lunch menu for Black History Month, and selected food that “people would enjoy eating, as well as what I would personally eat.”

Calhoun is also worried that, after fighting for 8 years to get the right to pick the menu for Black History Month, the controversy may prevent her from doing so next year.

Now that Calhoun has spoken out, Questlove has backed off his militant posturing. “i think I need a twitter break. i done started something. and now I must put out fire,” he twittered after the news broke.

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17 Responses

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  1. Philoctetes says

    Let the black bitch eat gefilte fish during the Jewish High Holy Days and vomit her guts out on the NBC Cafeteria floor and she'll know why she's wrong.

    Racist. - Admin.

  2. rjwusa says

    Blacks have a higher degree of heart disease, diabetes and obesity than other Americans. Perhaps Michelle Obama should get involved for her fight against obesity. Additionally, I would like to see an Anglo-American menu offered. After all, if we're going to celebrate diversity, then let's celebrate all diversity. Perhaps phallic shaped fare can be offered in honor of the GLBT community. Chinese food laced with lead and melamine can be offered to honor China. Mexican food laced with E. coli, hepatitis, and T.B. can be offered to honor Mexico. And, let's not forget the Twinkies, Velveta Cheese and Coors Lite to honor white trash while we're at it.

  3. Boycott 2010 World C says

    very funny rjwusa! and totally true… let her have her honour of black history or whatever it is.. and let all others also have theirs…

    this 'racist' thing is getting beyond ridiculous….

    very funny comment1 ;-)

  4. georgetheatheist says

    “Aksing about it, aksing about it.” BTW, what was for desert? Watermelon?

  5. Philoctetes says

    It was a racist post.

  6. Sam says

    Greeting's my fellow Americans. Wow! What a story!

    Thus, the bleeding heart liberal mentality thinks it knows what real people, who live in the real world want, and need, I love it! ( Is this drummer a white northerner, I'm guessing ?).

    Our outraged chef's fixins' have been on the southern menu for quite a long time. I'm from wisconsin, but my girlfriend is from lower Alabama. When I showed her this story she laughed.

    Where do blacks come from? The south! (thats after their journey from the homeland). This is their normal, regional cuisine. They are not ashamed of it. Southern whites were also brought up with this standard menu. This is kind of like my Italian mother (rest her soul) making spaghetti, or lasagna, the way my grandmother taught her.

    So now lefties, are you saying that associating spaghetti with Italians is racist? Polish sausage with Poles, racist? Blutwurst with Germans, etc.?

    The left knows nothing about real people, or the real world. This proves it. The knuckleheads at NBC are worse than this drummer.

    • A. Ro. says

      The drummer is black, and you have no clue what you're talking about.

  7. Sam says

    Also, watermelon is a standard desert for our southern neighbors especially in the summer of course.

  8. Edward says

    I always get confused with this “left” or “right” stuff. But WTF? Somebody educate me here – what in the heck would you serve for black history month? Gefilte fish and Challa? Sushi? Tempura? Lutefisk and sauerkraut? Dim Sung?

  9. Edward says

    How about Questlove let’s us know what HE thinks is an appropriate menu for Black History Month? I’m Japanese-American, I like my ethnic food, but I’d be guessing here. But WTF? Somebody educate me here – what in the heck would you serve for black history month? Gefilte fish and Challa? Sushi? Tempura? Lutefisk and sauerkraut? Dim Sung? I’m confused….

  10. EMY says

    "Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions" – that’s what my engineer Brother says to the engineers who work with him. So I would say to Questlove: if you don’t like that menu, what’s yours?

    What, Mr. Questlove, would you suggest instead?

    It would have been nice if, when you had walked in with your petulant little complaint to the NBC office, you had had in hand a suggested alternative menu.

    [sigh]—I can just imagine, though, what it would have looked like. Given that he is in New York City, it probably would have involved some hip intelligentsia urban intellectual organic tofu crap.

    Which the average Southern black person would undoubtedly laugh at … and then be disgusted by.

  11. Theresa says

    I know just as many white people who would eat this food as black. And Questlove is obviously a think, as I am. First I’m surprised and impressed that the Chef did not anticipate her mistake. No one likes to be excluded… And it’s no one’s fault now if Blacks were excluded in the past. Get over it. You add some traditional southern dishes to the menu in February and you honor Black History month, but say nothing about the connection. That would have been smart. Besides, the dishes are southern, not African, so why make an empty implication.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Black in America linked to this post on February 6, 2010

    "Black Chef Defends Racist Lunch Menu" http://tinyurl.com/yzvz4cl Black In America

  2. Rick Todd linked to this post on February 6, 2010

    Black Chef Defends “Racist” Lunch Menu: The Right Perspective (blog)
    An African-American chef is fighting back aga… http://bit.ly/amLV0Y

  3. Bhavani linked to this post on February 6, 2010

    Black Chef Defends “Racist” Lunch Menu: The Right Perspective (blog)
    An African-American chef is fighting back aga… http://bit.ly/c3OxkI

  4. Can Chicken Wings Be Racist? « The Chicken Wing Index linked to this post on October 25, 2010

    [...] fried chicken, collard greens, and black-eyed peas—but the menu’s author, a black chef, defended the choice of soul food as being right on target for the [...]

  5. BLACK HISTORY MONTH « The Burning Platform linked to this post on February 1, 2011

    [...] Black Chef Defends “Racist” Lunch Menu [...]

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