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L.A. Chefs Among Contestants Pulling Out of ‘FavChef’ Contest After Confusing Prize Terms Are Clarified by Bon Appétit Magazine

2:27 PM PST on February 18, 2021

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]'s BBQ, and Evil Cooks are among the chefs around the U.S. who have been rallying their loyal followers to help them advance in a user-submitted contest hosted by Favorite Chef

However, like many other contestants around the country, they have both removed themselves from the contest following a post by Bon Appétit on both their Twitter and Facebook accounts, addressing that “neither the contest or the feature are BA edit-endorsed.” They disclose further that “Favorite Chef purchased a paid ad in the magazine that intends to spotlight the winner of the contest they were conducting,” and that they requested for the terms to be clarified.   

“The industry has been getting hit hard cause of Covid, and you guys still have the audacity...well damn, you sure fooled me, @favchef,” Alan Cruz posted on his A’s BBQ account via a story. 

According to the contest’s rules, contestants would have a shot at winning the title of “the world’s Favorite Chef 2021” and receiving $20,000 along with being featured in a “sponsored double-page spread” in Bon Appétit. Chefs who had the highest number of “votes” would get them a higher position in their respective “groups” and higher chances of advancing to the next round. There is one “free” daily vote allowed per person that is unlocked by logging in to Facebook and entering your phone number, and an option of buying “Hero Votes” to advance your chef further up their group: “$1 equals one vote.” The money raised by these Hero Votes would go towards Feeding America, according to the website. 

A’s BBQ followers let him know of the controversy this morning, some of which donated their own money as a “Hero Vote” to help the up-and-coming BBQ star out of East Los Angeles advance to the next round. This post by Bon Appétit was a red flag for Cruz, who tells L.A. Taco that he immediately requested to be removed from the contest. He shares that Favorite Chef complied and also agreed to return the “donations” made by A’s fans who voted for him.

“I was reading about it on FB. It’s crazy. I don’t feel comfortable about it,” Evil Cooks tells L.A. Taco regarding their similar decision to A’s BBQ in requesting to be removed. 

This is the latest controversy to affect the print food publication following a year of racial reckonings and scandals, starting with its former Editor-in-Chief resigning after a photo surfaced of him dressed in a racially insensitive “costume” and widespread allegations of discrimination and pay inequity. Gimlet Media recently released a podcast focused on the implosion of their test kitchen.  

While the chefs behind A’s BBQ and Evil Cooks chose to be removed from the contest, L.A. Taco has confirmed that other local participants like chef Walther Adrianzen behind Lonzo’s Bakery in Culver City are still moving forward in the contest, despite knowing about the controversy. 

L.A. Taco has reached out to Favorite Chef for comment.

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