Parisian chef Taku Sekine — finest recognized for the Japanese-inflected neo-bistro Dersou and the minimalist, Chinese language-French restaurant Cheval d’Or — has ended his life, in response to a public assertion launched September 29 by his associate, Sarah Berger, on Instagram tales. Sekine’s loss of life comes shortly after accusations of sexual assault surfaced on social media. He was 39.
Berger posted the next to Instagram tales following his loss of life:
The situations of Taku SEKINE’s loss of life are neither extraordinary nor unintentional. Taku SEKINE ended his life, swept away by a critical despair following his public questioning – on social networks and on a specialised web site – with a recurrence akin to actual relentlessness.
Sure actors, specifically of the press, knowingly, in a number of weeks and within the whole absence of complaints, ruined the status of Taku SEKINE. These malicious folks, flouting any ethics and any rule of respect for the presumption of innocence, unfold false gossip on social networks and arranged a brutal marketing campaign to destroy Taku SEKINE’s community, calling on each actor within the discipline of gastronomy to unfold slander and warning them to work with him. After all, they by no means dared to contact him instantly.
Disadvantaged of his proper to train his expertise, Taku SEKINE, who lived for the kitchen, inside two months locked himself in a violent spiral of despair.
A favourite of Le Fooding and Omnivore Meals Competition, Sekine was embraced by many within the Parisian meals world and regarded a rising younger star; earlier this yr, Eater described him as a “energy participant” who was among the many younger cooks remaking town’s Asian meals scene. Skilled in Japan, he labored beneath a few of France’s largest culinary skills, together with Alain Ducasse and Hélène Darroze, in addition to on the immediately iconic trendy French restaurant Clown Bar. In 2014 he opened his first restaurant, Dersou; it was adopted in 2019 by Cheval d’Or. Dersou, a “restobar,” is taken into account the primary restaurant in Paris to supply a menu with a cocktail pairing, and gained Le Fooding’s Finest Restaurant of 2016, a coveted award within the capital. In November 2019, Sekine was awarded Le Fooding’s Fooding d’honneur Information 2020, an honorary award, together with his new enterprise associate.
Throughout the summer time, there have been whispers amongst Parisian meals circles and on social media of assault allegations involving Sekine. On August 6, an alleged feminine sufferer shared a public Instagram put up with particulars of an assault by an unnamed chef. On August 12, the editor-in-chief of Fou de Delicacies, a well-liked print journal and platform, didn’t title the chef explicitly, however introduced she would by no means once more point out them by title in Fou de Delicacies’s publications, partake in occasions the place the chef was concerned, or eat at his eating places. Following this announcement, influential ladies within the meals trade and Instagram accounts devoted to championing ladies in meals issued statements of assist for the alleged sufferer(s). On August 16, Atabula, a French web site devoted to meals information, revealed the information and evaluation of their survey on sexual harassment and sexism within the kitchen.
Three weeks later, on September 6, Atabula+, a subscription-only arm of Atabula, revealed a roundup of meals information that named Sekine because the chef “on the coronary heart” of the assault allegations:
Everybody has been beating across the bush for weeks, even months, there are those that don’t wish to say something in order to not upset the work of justice or the journalistic investigations in progress; there may be additionally the concern of defamation… So, the person on the coronary heart of the scandal is definitely not the one one accused of sexual assault, but it surely now appears acceptable to say his title aloud: Taku Sekine. Understanding for a number of weeks of the continuing and upcoming complaints, the top of Dersou and Cheval d’Or (Paris), in response to corroborating data, organized his departure and left France for Japan. He’s reportedly accused by a number of ladies of sexual assault and rape.
On September 9, three days after the Atabula accusations had been revealed, Sekine advised Self-importance Honest France that he deliberate to refute the allegations. Florent Ciccoli, the co-owner of Cheval d’Or, amongst quite a few different Paris eating places, has but to remark publicly.
In case you or anybody you understand is contemplating suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or wants to speak, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or textual content the Disaster Textual content Line at 741-741. For worldwide assets, right here is an efficient place to start.
Eileen W. Cho is a Korean American journalist and photographer based mostly in Paris, France.
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