Som Saa chef Shaun Beagley also ran Thai food pop ups which he promoted through his Instagram account @boring.thai, and managed a YouTube channel dedicated to Thai recipes.
The chef found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm when several Twitter users drew attention to the captions on his Instagram posts, as well as the Asian accent he mimics on his YouTube videos’ voiceover. He would change the letters ‘L’ to ‘R’ in his captions in an attempt to mock Thai and Asian accents, and post offensive comments towards Thai people and their culture.
A number of prominent social media users, including food writer MiMi Aye, called Beagley out for his comments, asking for a response from his employer Som Saa.
The restaurant released a statement shortly after the posts had started gaining traction, confirming that it had fired Beagley earlier this afternoon (13 July).
“Som Saa is a restaurant born out of a love and respect for Thai food, Thai friends and Thai culture. What is more, our team has and always will be made up of many other nationalities too,” the post reads.
“Due to the unacceptable comments made by a member of the team on social media he has been let go. The comments are not those of Som Saa or any members of the Som Saa team. We would like to wholeheartedly apologise for any hurt and upset that the comments have caused.”
David St. Coffee, where Beagley held the majority of his pop ups, released a statement saying it has “cut ties” with the chef after being “horrified” by the content of his social media presence.
Beagley was billed to host a Thai pop up at Weino Bib in Dalston tonight has but pulled out so as not to damage the company’s reputation.