DC's Michelin-Starred Kinship Has Reopened After Allegations Of Racism

P.T. Barnum once said, "There is no such thing as bad publicity," but we don't know if that includes a former worker protesting a racial incident outside a Michelin-starred restaurant

In a video widely shared on TikTok, a woman who had worked at Washington DC's Kinship is seen protesting what she said was racist treatment at the hands of chef Eric Ziebold. Klyn Jones, a Black woman, claims Zeibold had said "stupid n***** to me four (4) times!!" and calls on prospective diners not to "give their money to this establishment." She also accuses an unnamed manager who "comes out every day to intimidate her" as she protests.

The Washingtonian provides some context to the incident by speaking to an anonymous source within the restaurant, who said the ordeal reportedly took place as Ziebold was talking about how work situations were meant to be handled and dropped the racial slur. But, the source insisted that the restaurant did not foster an atmosphere of hate and racism. After the video gained traction, Kinship closed temporarily.

In a statement to Eater about the incident, Ziebold admitted to "unacceptable behavior" and defended Kinship as an establishment that "has always operated under a core set of values advocating diversity, equity and a feeling of respect and belonging."

"I apologize to those I've hurt and will strive to do better in the future," he added.

Kinship's chef Eric Ziebold has received complaints in the past

In any case, it appears Ziebold may not be the most sensitive boss in town. Per the Washington City Paper, a line cook at both Kinship and Métier, which Ziebold also owns, says line cooks are "paid less than the normal rate," noting you basically "work for free so you can learn from the best," and suggesting that learning to deal with the chef was a challenge in itself. "No one has been fired but people have been forced out based on Eric's treatment of them. He will demean you, belittle you in front of the whole kitchen during service, and just scream at you all day," the line cook, who spoke anonymously, said.

So it may be no surprise that Ziebold's general apology fell on deaf ears. In an emailed statement to The Washingtonian, Jones say the apology, which was not directed at anyone in particular, did little to make her feel better. "There is no context that would make the use of a slur in the workplace appropriate or acceptable. It's hurtful and conveys a deep lack of respect," she said, adding that she was still waiting for an apology.

Following a temporary closure, Kinship reopened and is currently accepting reservations