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Cochon555 'Late Nite Asian Speakeasy' Marred by Racial Controversy

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An insensitive photo from the event has surfaced

Cochon555, the national tour that celebrates all things hog, brought its Heritage BBQ competition to Atlanta over the weekend. The event raised more than $5,000 to benefit Piggy Bank, "a farm-in-the-making devoted to sharing free heritage breed genetics and business plans with small and family farms." But, it did not pass without controversy in the form of a racially insensitive Instagram post.

The above photo was taken during the "Late Nite Asian Speakeasy" at Muss & Turner’s on Friday. It was originally posted to Cochon555’s Instagram account before being deleted for obvious reasons. Washington DC chef Erik Bruner-Yang, who has won Cochon555 events in the past, called out the organization and announced his plans to sever ties. The photo shows local chefs Dennis Lange (far left), Andre Gomez (center), and Dameren Parenteau (second-from-right), along with Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe (right). The masked individual second from left, wearing a costume depicting lazy Asian stereotypes, is Muss & Turner’s chef and co-owner Todd Mussman, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mussman has since issued a statement, apologizing for the costume:

"I would like to say I’m sorry for my inappropriate and thoughtless actions during the recent Cochon Late Nite Speakeasy event at Muss & Turners. While it was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone or any culture, by wearing the tasteless costume, I did exactly that: I offended, hurt and disappointed many people. I am embarrassed and deeply sorry for my lack of sensitivity and my ignorance."

Lowe has released a video in which he apologizes for portraying "a negative Asian stereotype, one that was unfair and offensive to many friends nationwide":

Heritage BBQ Will Bring Smoky Competition to Atlanta This Month [EATL]
Controversy Erupts Over Racially-Insensitive Photo from Cochon555 [EDC]
Atlanta’s Asian Chefs React to Controversial Photo at Cochon555 Food Event [AJC]