More and more chefs in Australia received emails from people who asked for free food in exchange for exposure.
According to Africola owner and renowned chef Duncan Welgemoed, he received an email last April coming from a girl who used to be a contestant of the cooking show My Kitchen Rules. The girl offered all-out publicity support for Africola once
Welgemoed provides free food.
The chef said that the offer was such a big insult. He added that he doesn’t need any publicity stunt since Africola is well-known in Australia. In fact, a lot of celebrities already dined in the restaurant, including Katy Perry.
At the height of his upset, Welgemoed posted his reaction on Instagram. He said that if the woman wants to experience the great foods at Africola, she needs to pay as everybody does.
Welgemoed’s post immediately went viral. A lot of netizens sent their support to the chef. They agreed that the indecent offer was an insult, not only to the chef but to the entire food business industry in the country. On the other hand, some people saw his reaction as a bullying act.
In his interview with the Guardian Australia, Welgemoed clarified that his post did not intend to bully anybody. He just wanted to send a strong signal to people who are contemplating to do the same offensive act. He further said that he wanted to raise the integrity of the hospitality industry.
To call the attention of the people who made insulting offers, chefs around the world forwarded the email requests to legit Australian food reviewer John Lethlean. Lethlean then posted the names of the ‘self-proclaimed’ online influencers under the hashtag #couscousforcomment. With this ‘shame’ campaign, Welgemoed is hoping that this degrading ‘free food’ offer will end soon.