Stephane Bombet, the owner of numerous top restaurants in Los Angeles, has been publicly ousted by his partners after a photo surfaced online that showed him wearing blackface in order to dress up as rapper Lil Wayne at a Halloween party in 2011.
Bombet, the founder of The Bombet Hospitality Group, who owns and operates Faith & Flower in downtown L.A., Nic’s on Beverly and Terrine, released a statement to Drew Reports News after the photo was discovered on a local photographer’s Facebook album. In response to the Halloween costume he wore to an after-hours party at his restaurant, Picca, which shuttered in 2017, he said:
“I am a fan of Lil Wayne, and have for many years. In 2011, Lil Wayne released his ninth album, Tha Carter IV, which I thought was amazing. At a Halloween party, two months after the album was released, I dressed up as my hero, Lil Wayne. This is my statement, and please run it in its entirety.”
Nic’s on Beverly & Ms. Chi Cafe Have Since Parted Ways With Bombet
Following the blackface photo controversy, the pictures have been removed from Facebook and numerous of his restaurant partners have decided to publicly severe ties with Bombet. The owners of Ms. Chi Cafe in Culver City put out a statement on the situation. While Bombet was never involved in the operations of Ms.Chi Cafe, former Top Chef contestant Shirley Chung and husband Jimmy Lee wrote:
In response to recent findings, we would like to inform our customers and community that Stephane Bombet is no longer associated with Ms. Chi Café and we do not condone his actions. As Chinese immigrants, we are very aware of discrimination and have experienced it throughout our lives and at Ms. Chi Café, racial or cultural prejudice of any kind is not tolerated. We stand with our community and hope to fight for equality, justice and positive change. Shirley Chung & Jimmy Lee
Nic Adler, who founded Nic’s on Beverly, which took over Bombet’s former restaurant space of The Ponte, issued a statement to Eater LA:
We would like to take this time to inform our customers and community that Stephane Bombet is no longer associated with Nic’s on Beverly. Racism of any kind is not tolerated. We believe strongly in inclusion and respect for all, and apologize for any hurt his actions may have caused. We stand firmly with the Black community in the fight for long-term systemic change, justice, and equity.
Bon Appetite Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport Resigned After Being Exposed for Wearing Brown Face in Halloween Photo
The nationwide protests in the name of George Floyd have inspired numerous people to speak out about racial injustices. Similar to Bombet, another high profile foodie was recently ousted for wearing a racially insensitive Halloween costume. Adam Rapoport, who was the editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit, resigned from his position after a 2013 Instagram post resurfaced with a photo of him wearing brownface at a Halloween party in 2004. Rapoport was also called out for fostering a racist culture within the magazine’s offices.
Rapoport apologized via Instagram before deleting his account entirely. Offering up his resignation, Rapoport said this picture was “from an extremely ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago to my blind spots as an editor, I’ve not championed an inclusive vision. And ultimately, it’s been at the expense of Bon Appetit and its staff, as well as our readers. They all deserve better.”