The Torontonian behind “nose to tail” restaurant The Black Hoof, Rhum Corner and now, big-name Montreal Haitian restaurant and bar Agrikol, Jen Agg is a resident of Twitter who’s not afraid to talk politics, and frankly, she’s pissed that people in the dining industry often show a violent aversion to acting all political in the faint chance that it might drive customers away.
And Agg definitely feels more strongly about it nowadays, given Donald J. Trump’s recent victory in the United States presidential election, and the sudden (and probably not at all coincidental) appearance of public displays of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic sentiment in Canada in recent weeks (not to mention a general increase in the number of hate crimes committed in Quebec).
Of course, if restaurateurs and big-name chefs came out as being against Trump and his alt-right ilk, in Canada it would only isolate the tiniest portion of customers (11 per cent of Quebecers expressed support for Trump), and probably even draw in admirers from the other side, which doesn’t really sound like bad business.
Here’s the best of what Agg had to say, capital letters and all.
ITS OK TO MAKE NAZIS FEEL UNWELCOME it's ok (PREFERRED IN FACT) to let your customer base know you think Trump is TERRIFYING— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
Like, there's a way to offer TWO FOR ONE TOSTADAS and still be appalled by what's happening TRY IT YOU GUYS— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
I actually can't think of a less politically engaged industry (lol to human rights being "political")— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
I realize this is (at least in part) due to the fantasy/escapism nature of restaurants in the first place...— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
What iffffff AND JUST SPITBALLING HERE it's actually BETTER for your business to show you ARENT scared to comment— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
I mean it might not be, like it's def a risk I'm just saying WAKE UP ITS A WORTHWHILE RISK— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
The restaurant business in early 40s occupied Paris was BOOMING but do we really want to aspire to that???— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
I can literally HEAR the chef bros explaining to their cooks how dumb it is to mix "politics" and dining with FULL RIGHTEOUS CONFIDENCE— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
god this industry disappoints me so much when push comes to shove we say nothing and keep slinging happy hour margaritas. BE BETTER PEOPLE— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) November 16, 2016
- Signs in Toronto urge white people to join ‘alt-right’ [Toronto Star]
- Racist graffiti spray-painted on Parkdale United Church, Ottawa Muslim Association [CBC]
- The Trump effect and the normalization of hate in Quebec [Montreal Gazette]
- Poll finds strong Clinton support in Alberta and across Canada [Calgary Herald]