TikTok Chef Addresses Lack of Diversity in Restaurant Staff

A TikTok chef, Thomas Straker, who rose to fame for his ASMR butter videos, faced criticism for the lack of diversity among the staff at his West London restaurant.


Straker’s recent post on TikTok featuring eight members of his cooking team triggered discussions about representation in the food industry, with commentators questioning the absence of female chefs.

In response to the backlash, Straker initially defended the composition of his team, citing a shortage of chefs and hospitality workers.

However, after reflecting on the feedback, he acknowledged the issue and expressed his commitment to promoting diversity in his restaurants.

The Controversial Post and Criticism:

Last week, Thomas Straker shared pictures of the cooking team at his Notting Hill restaurant on TikTok, proudly captioned “chef team assembled.”


The post sparked considerable commentary, with many observers expressing concern about the apparent lack of diversity in the staff.

Critics pointed out that the food industry often appeared to be dominated by a “white boys’ club,” and they questioned the absence of female chefs in Straker’s team.

Straker’s Initial Response and Explanation:

Facing the criticism, Thomas Straker offered a defensive response, explaining that there is a shortage of chefs and hospitality workers.

He urged the critics to help find and recommend potential candidates to join his team, emphasizing the need for solutions rather than merely highlighting the problem.

However, not everyone found his response satisfactory, and the discussion continued.


An Apology and Commitment to Change:

Recognizing the validity of the concerns raised by commentators, Thomas Straker posted a follow-up comment on Monday to address the issue more thoughtfully.

He expressed his regrets for the initial response and acknowledged that the lack of diversity in his restaurant’s kitchen was a serious matter.

Straker pledged his absolute commitment to fostering diversity in his establishments, acknowledging that improvements were needed to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Straker’s Rise to Fame and Restaurant Success:

Before the controversy, Thomas Straker gained immense popularity online, particularly on TikTok, where his ASMR butter videos garnered millions of followers.

Riding on this newfound fame, he ventured into the culinary world by opening his restaurant, Straker’s, which has received favorable reviews.



Thomas Straker, the TikTok chef turned restaurant owner, faced criticism over the lack of diversity in his West London restaurant staff.

Although his initial response was defensive, he later recognized the issue and issued a sincere apology, vowing to work towards creating a more inclusive environment in his establishments.

As discussions about representation and diversity continue to be relevant and necessary in various industries, Straker’s case serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and addressing such concerns responsibly.


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