Yelpers have set their insufferable, extortionist, murderous, degenerate sights on chef Christopher Kostow of the three Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood in the Napa Valley. In this case, one Claudia P. accuses Kostow of discriminating against people who are "Asian, or at least do not look like an ABC or speak 'perfect' English." Ouch.
After "a whole day wine-tasting," Claudia P. was hoping for a three Michelin-star caliber dinner with her boyfriend. But according to her review, service was not up to snuff: Kostow committed the last of several service errors when he failed to stop by her table to check in, despite saying hello to the (non-Asian) diners a few tables over. She notes they had no idea who he was and "literally asked him 'who are you?' I found it ironical."
Kostow responded on Twitter: "Should I tell my ASIAN WIFE?" (Kostow's wife, Martina Kostow, is Thai.) He tells Eater that he thinks "people are entitled to their opinion. I just wish that there was some degree of factual accuracy." Below, the pertinent text of the Yelp review, as well as Kostow's response.
Excerpt From Claudia P's Yelp Review of the Restaurant at Meadowood:
If you read reviews, you notice that Mr. Kostow came out to visit tables frequently. We did see him in the floor greeting guests all the time, except 2 tables. One is us, and the other table with Asian customer as well. When he stopped by the tablet next to us, a guest from the table literally asked him "who are you?" I found it ironical.
Being a frequent patron while Mr. Kostow was with Chez TJ in Mountain View. The dining experience here was a total disaster. I see absolutely zero passion for people serving our food. If there could be one word describing the night, I would say "DISCRIMINATION".
This is surely the worst dining experience in my life. If you are Asian, or at least do not look like an ABC or speak "perfect" English, maybe this is not somewhere you want to be.
Christopher Kostow's Response:
I think that people are entitled to their opinion. I just wish that there was some degree of factual accuracy.
Listen. Our collective egos as chefs should be able to withstand some of the negativity. It would be nicer though if some folks looked at the product/experience/vision as a whole instead of "I didn't like the duck hearts."
If everyone loved everything that I did than I would accuse them of feeling a certain way because they believe they should. You see this with certain restaurants for whom the public reception of their work corresponds with their being deemed great in the media writ large.
If I changed what we did because of stuff like this, we'd be rudderless. If we ignored it, we'd be stupid because we'd be missing an opportunity to improve
My (thai) wife's comment: "I knew it!"