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Burger King Accused of Racism Over Tacky Chopsticks Ad in New Zealand

Plus, Heston Blumenthal is losing money, and more news to start your day

A still from the Burger King advertisement
Instagram screenshot

Are we done with embarrassing chopsticks jokes yet?

Burger King in New Zealand is drawing negative attention for a tasteless advertisement showing people awkwardly attempting to eat entire burgers with chopsticks. The ad was a promotion for the chain’s “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp” burger, and appeared as a sponsored Instagram post. It has since been removed from the company’s social media but is still visible on Twitter.

The issue at hand is the decision to reduce thousands of years of culinary tradition to a “joke” that’s more or less “LOL Chopsticks r funny!” — after all, would an ad showing people attempting to eat pho with a knife and fork get made? Probably not. Perhaps the dumbest part of the entire situation (besides the fact that it’s...not actually funny) is that Dolce and Gabbana drew similar outrage just a few months ago for an almost identical advertisement — which means somewhere out there is a marketing executive getting paid a massive salary despite being unable to use Google.

And in other news...

  • In the UK, famed chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant group is losing money at an increasing pace — he joins the likes of Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay as big names who might be struggling right now. [Guardian]
  • In Europe, veggie burgers might be renamed “veggie discs” as the European parliament contemplates a law banning the term “burger” for non-meat products. [NYT]
  • After protests successfully tanked Chick-fil-A’s airport deals in Buffalo and San Antonio, a location in San José airport is drawing negative attention, although this one is already open. [San José Spotlight]
  • Acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana has reopened the space that was formerly World’s Best Bar Dandelyan — the drinks are still ultra elaborate, but now it’s called Lyaness. [Bloomberg]
  • A Thai company claiming to have the original Sriracha hot sauce recipe wants to get a foothold in the U.S., taking on big gun Huy Fong Foods. [Bloomberg]
  • Chef José Andrés is in Mozambique, helping with recovery efforts after devastating cyclone Idai. [Twitter]
  • Bland pop singer who looks like a yam Ed Sheeran has a sake themed after his likeness in Japan, for no apparent reason. [Sora News 24]
  • Check out the first- and third-class menus from the Titanic on the day before the ship sank in 1912. [Twitter]
  • Marc Jacobs got hitched over the weekend, and went to swanky Manhattan restaurant the Grill for the reception. [Page Six]
  • Don’t throw our your take-out containers: the Times has a collection of chef-approved tips for organizing your kitchen. [NYT]
  • Some Australian teens figured out how to game the self-order system and the dollar menu at McDonald’s in order to get free burgers — but it probably wouldn’t work in the U.S. [Gizmodo Australia]
  • Stephen Colbert and team dreamed up a seafood restaurant run by United States Attorney General William Barr: “the only seafood restaurant where you need a subpoena to see the menu”. [YouTube]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]

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