Shibumi's David Schlosser: threat or menace?

There ya’ go. Humble too.


In the Japanese arts, one’s biggest opponent is the ego, not the other person or greater community. Shibumi’s IG post went counter to that principle and is what I found distasteful along with its rat race undertone.

I’ve seen so many instances of where the SoCal chef community is amazingly supportive of one another and I hope Shibumi/Chef Schlosser follows suit.

When I’m on the other side in terms of finances and health, I’ll consider a visit to Shibumi.


I don’t have an opinion about whether what @J_L’s post was “good” or “bad,” have no opinion about the same regarding @Starchtrade’s post, and had no opinion about Shibumi and whoever the owner/chef is prior reading the most recent posts in this thread, but…

… I don’t quite know if I agree w/ this (respectfully). When you are possibly an influential poster and (justifiably) spread news of someone’s distasteful post (and, fairly directly, of a resultant personal or wider boycott) but also use the word “colonialist” (which, at the current time, is an even more charged word than it might’ve been, say, 10 yrs ago), isn’t that the same as effectively asking for someone’s head, esp in a time when restaurants are struggling?

Reminds of me of when people (not on here) were strongly implying that actor Lea Michele was racist when it was clear she was just straight-up nasty to most everyone she worked w/, regardless of race.

This is my take, too. Post was mainly distasteful for arrogance, inaccuracy, and throwing your fellow chefs under the bus. That’s all gross enough, IMHO.


so true, I can’t even remember the last time a chef ripped an entire segment of the industry like that.

evan funke with north-america-pasta gate is the closest I can think of.


You don’t have to be a good writer to be a great chef.

Maybe a more thoughtful way to have made his point would have been to say something like, while it’s true that sweet desserts are not traditionally served at the end of a Japanese dinner, more restaurants ought to consider offering traditional sweets such as wagashi that non-Japanese customers might not encounter otherwise?


We went last night (around 10th visit). The omakase meal and beverage pairing were the best we’ve had there. In my first visits I considered Shibumi unbalanced and pseudo-Japanese. Now I consider it legit Japanese and deserving of the Michelin star.

I consider the IG post in question above mildly abrasive and the purported outrage here far more offensive.


I think the outrage was more at tearing others down to bring yourself up.
That’s just unnecessary. There are better ways of showing your passion and love of a cuisine.


Still, bad form and thin skinned to scrub dissenting comments from IG and just leave the heaps of praise. Business account IG should have just closed comments.


The IG post was edited after the fact. The Facebook post above includes the sentence:

“It’s because these Japanese restaurants don’t understand, appreciate or care about promoting what Japanese cuisine is all about.”

That’s paint by numbers insulting which is why he has to do damage control. I think it was stupid not malicious but it is still insulting.


Fair enough, but can I ask if you are Asian?

What the fuck does that matter?

Wow dropping f-bombs on a food message board you’re so tough !!! :joy:

I think it matters a lot in terms of the context of shibumi’s post.

David is a white man that has been recognized for cooking Japanese cuisine. First, I believe there is nothing inherently wrong with that as long as he is doing it respectfully and in an inclusive manner. However, what was posted was highly disrespectful, denigrating of other Japanese restaurants, and stating that “Japanese restaurants don’t understand, appreciate or care about promoting what Japanese cuisine” when you’re not Japanese, is at best highly insensitive and at worst it’s the worst type of cultural appropriation. Even if he were Japanese that would be a ridiculous post.

I suspect most of the people on this board who are more outraged are Asian and there’s a reason for that. Throughout many of our lives we have been stereotyped and mocked for how we look, how we dress and/or how we speak, basically racism. In the context of food many of us have been made fun of countless times for the things we eat and how it smells. Growing up in the Midwest I was personally embarrassed and afraid of bringing food to school because I knew I would get made fun of.

If you’ve never experienced racism, either in an overt or hidden fashion, let me tell you it sucks. And if you have experienced racism I would hope you would be more empathetic and understanding as to why Asian people aren’t super thrilled about his post and his deleting of posts from Asian people calling him out afterwards.

Which brings me back to being why being Asian might matter. Most of us (Asian people) that see a white guy talk down to Japanese people and restaurants when he’s cooking Japanese cuisine don’t really appreciate it because of the above mentioned experiences with racism and particularly in the context of food.

I am Asian and while I am not as outraged as some, I definitely won’t ever be eating at his restaurant.


Thank you for your response. Also the rise in hate crimes in the aapi community is making everyone especially on edge. Don’t think the response here is outrageous at all. It was irresponsible and disrespectful comment by the chef and absolutely tone deaf in this current climate.


It matters because food, culture, and identity are inextricably linked (and, yes, incredibly nuanced), and here you’ve got a white chef implying he understands, appreciates, and cares more about Japanese cuisine than all the other Japanese-American chefs in town doing Japanese food, effectively questioning their authenticity and their connection to Japanese culture and identity. Where the fuck does he get off? He’s gonna pull this arrogant shit in a city that largely welcomed and accepted his talent, much of it nurtured under Japanese and Japanese-American chefs, without questioning his?

LA isn’t a place that demands strict “authenticity,” whatever that may mean, because we’re fortunate to experience and appreciate the (oftentimes delicious) benefits of cross-cultural exchange every day, but we absolutely have a problem with a person who can’t possibly know the lived experience of a minority culture, good and bad, trying to be the arbiter of it.

ETA: Talking about Schlosser above, but by extension, identifying as Asian/Asian-American inflects nuance to this dialogue.


For those that are interested in hearing him in his own words -here is a podcast he did with David Chang back in 2018


Pretty sure he didn’t do himself any favors with this comment:

He also says he deleted criticism that came from individuals with small followings on their accounts. “If you look at these people’s pages, a lot of them have 500 followers, and I don’t know their names. It’s easy to speak out when no one knows who you are,” he says.


Why is it de-platforming people and silencing their voices to not allow their comments on your business’s advertising and communications platform (Instagram/Facebook)?

They are welcome to post on their own platforms. Why do I have to give you a platform at my house for you voice your feelings/opinions?


Well done article by Eaterla. They weren’t first but they were thorough.


I disagree. Title “Shibumi’s White Chef Takes Aim at Japanese Restaurants for Not Being Japanese Enough”

Is this actually what happened? Why is it necessary to use the gun/weapon imagery “takes aim”?

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