Chef Shack claps back at racist Trump gaffe

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Chef Shack claps back! Jay Boller

Last week, President Donald Trump described Haiti, several African nations, and El Salvador as "shithole countries," according to lawmakers who were with him in the Oval Office during a meeting about immigration. The remarks caused news outlets to examine a previously unthinkable possibility: Is Trump racist

This week, Minneapolis restaurant Chef Shack Ranch clapped back at the prez with a tongue-in-cheek message on the sign outside of its Seward location: "People from all countries welcome at this sh!t hole." In our constant pursuit of the semi-obvious, we asked co-owner/co-chef Carrie Summer what inspired the "shithole" re-brand. 

"We live in Seward. It’s our neighborhood; it’s our community; it’s the most liberal neighborhood in Minnesota, and we’re really proud of that," she says. "We’re travelers, and we cook with other chefs all over the world, and we really feel our brand represents diversity, inclusivity, kindness, mentorship, and love."

Reading between the lines, we'll go out on a limb and say President Trump is not exactly synonymous with those traits. The sign also alludes to the pretense-free nature of Chef Shack, which began as a food truck and expanded to two brick-and-mortar locations -- one in Seward, one in Bay City, Wisconsin. 

"We didn’t spend millions of dollars renovating that building because we chose to give our workers better wages and buy better ingredients," Summer says of Chef Shack Ranch. "It’s a cozy little hangout. Some people don’t get it because it’s not a big, shiny glass building, but it’s our clubhouse and our headquarters."

Those ingredients are going toward some killer cuisine, as Chef Shack's other co-owner/co-chef, Lisa Carlson, scored a 2017 James Beard Award nomination. Considering the lack of lukewarm Big Macs and charred, ketchup-slathered steak, even the Chef Shack menu is #Resistance-approved. 

Update: It seems the Wiener's Circle is accusing Chef Shack of plagiarizing a verbatim sign at its Chicago shop. We'll keep you posted on all the #drama. 


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