James Beard-Nominated Chef Says Racists Defaced Her New Restaurant, Cut Off Its Power

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MAY 27: Chef Ashleigh Shanti attends ‘Al Fuego’ during the Hot Luck Live Food & Music Festival at Wild Onion Ranch on May 27, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)

A renowned chef in Asheville, North Carolina says that vandals left racist messages on her newly opened restaurant…all within the first week of Black History Month.

As Asheville’s local outlet Citizen Times reports, Chef Ashleigh Shanti’s, owner of Good Hot Fish, says the group placed a racist sticker on the restaurant’s entrance and pulled a lever to turn off its external power breaker, shutting off power to patrons in the establishment on Feb. 3, which just opened on Jan. 20.

The outlet states that a Feb. 6 post from the restaurant’s Instagram shared the news; however the post no longer appears on the restaurant’s account.

The post social media app reportedly had a caption that stated:

Last Saturday, around closing time, a group of racists were doing what they do best and decided to shut the power off to our dining room while our last guests were enjoying their dinner,” Shanti said. “They then ran away, like cowards, when confronted by a guest and an employee but not before outfitting our entrance with this disgusting sticker.”

As the Citizen Times notes, the sticker read “’How to ruin a white city’ at the bottom. Above the lettering, there are four black and white buildings. In the right-hand corner, there is a hand holding a can reading ‘N-words,’ falling out of the can are small illustrations of people. On the cuff of the sleeve, there is a star of David.”

To note, Shanti’s restaurant is in South Slope district, which was once predominantly African American. The chef appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and was nominated for a coveted James Beard Award before her latest venture as a restaurateur.

Police are investigating the incident.

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