15th July 2018
East London Thai restaurant Som Saa has sacked chef Shaun Beagley — author of the @BoringThai Twitter and boring.thai Instagram accounts — when the chef’s conduct and language was deemed racist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, gross and shameful.
Instagram user @midnightbakerliz highlighted a number of Beagley’s offensive posts, imploring Som Saa to consider his employment. Beagley, as well as mocking Thai and Asian culture both in speech, and in his captioning, regularly replaces the letter L with R in his narration and texts. It prompted the writer MiMi Aye to say: “writing in faux Chinglish isn’t just tone deaf or bad taste – IT. IS. RACIST.”
In one of Beagley’s YouTube videos — where he always mimics a south east Asian accent — on “how to make coconut cream”, he is heard instructing his followers to “go down to the jungle and ask the monkey for a coconut.” recorded over a still of Brixton market.
Som Saa’s owners said: “Due to the unacceptable comments and views expressed by a member of the team at som saa, he has now been let go. These views and comments are not those of Som Saa, the owners or any other members of staff. However, we would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the hurt and upset that comments from this chef have caused. We respect all communities and feel very fortunate and honoured to not only work with Thai cuisine but also to work with so many nationalities globally.”
The Boring Thai brand, founded as a supper club in 2017 to cook “classic simple Thai dishes using the traditional techniques.”
As well as working as a chef at Som Saa, Beagley has trained at celebrated restaurants Nahm and Bolan in Thailand. His Instagram account handle has been changed — from boring.original.thai.food to Boring.Thai (presumably to avoid the clickthroughs from midnightbakerliz’s Instagram story); it is followed by over 1,500 users, including high profile members of the London restaurant industry. A number of posts, including this one in May, were liked by Som Saa’s co-owner and head chef, Andy Oliver.
Two scheduled supper clubs events have now been cancelled.