It seems no one is immune to the perils of social media, as US chef Thomas Keller had to delete his Twitter account after receiving criticism for tweeting praise for recently deceased Sheldon G. Adelson, a notable donor to President Trump, and patron of The French Laundry and Per Se.
The atmosphere is rarefied in the US after the recent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, Trump's impeachment and the upcoming inauguration ofJoe Biden.
Keller found himself in a twitter storm with some claiming his tweet to be ‘tone-deaf’. Others expressed disappointment that Keller would make money from ‘evil people’. The San Francisco Chronicle broke the news that Keller’s twitter account had been cancelled as a result.
It’s not the first time the chef has taken flack online. Keller received criticism when, after being named on the White House’s Economic Council for Restaurants along with Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Daniel Boulud, he tweeted the following:
"Honored @realdonaldtrump asked me & @danielboulud @wolfgangpuck @jeangeorges to join @whitehouse Great American Economic Revival Industry Group. Proud to work together towards a strategy where the safety of Americans is top of mind in conjunction towards economic revitalization."
Chef Keller responded to the criticism back in April 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic that continues to threaten the future of the restaurant industry, with a tweet:
Keller is not the only Michelin-star chef to have faced criticism online and certainly won't be the last. Others to have felt the wrath of the twittersphere recently included Grant Achatz, Gordon Ramsay and Sat Bains.
Geranium's Rasmus Kofoed has decided to stop serving meat at the restaurant currently ranked number two on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But the Danish chef isn't yet willing to go purely plant-based.