Alison Roman has been ‘suspended’ from her biweekly NY Times food column

Alison Roman started a “feud” with Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo two weeks ago. She called out both women in a recent New Consumer interview, implying that they were sellouts who just hired people to run their giant empires. Roman spoke about them in the context of her own hipster qualms about selling out and doing a line of kitchen stuff. The backlash was immediate, and Roman was called racist for specifically name-checking two women of color. Chrissy Teigen made several long-winded statements about it, and Roman tested out a few different apologies, one of which acknowledged her privilege. Kondo didn’t say sh-t, and good for her. That was the right move, because Chrissy subsequently made an ass of herself and she got called out almost immediately anyway. But the fact remained: Alison Roman is an a–hole. And now she’s been suspended from her NY Times column… at least that’s what it sounds like:

Two weeks after making comments about Chrissy Tiegan and Marie Kondo that sparked widespread criticism, the New York Times has suspended chef and food writer Alison Roman’s biweekly column.

The Times said in a statement to Daily Beast that Roman’s column is “on temporary leave,” though it did not offer any reason, nor did it say how long the “leave” will last. Known for her bestselling books “Dining In” and “Nothing Fancy,” Roman has written her column for the NYT food section since 2018.

[From The Wrap]

It doesn’t surprise me. The only thing that surprises me is that the Times didn’t explicitly say that they were suspending Roman. Maybe they’re leaving room for her to say that the leave of absence is her decision, or they’re leaving the door open for her to return. Considering how 2020 is garbage, they’ll absolutely give her a chance to come back, right?

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72 Responses to “Alison Roman has been ‘suspended’ from her biweekly NY Times food column”

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  1. BabsORIG says:

    If Allison Roman’s not careful, this marks the beginning of the end of her career. I still remember how Paula Dean’s career slowly disintegrated and the rest is history.

    • SomeChick says:

      Paula Deen is still very much alive and kicking. Unfortunately. I wonder how that diabetes drug spokesmodel campaign worked out for her.

      Her cooking is totally derivative of black southern cooking, and she would love to go back to the plantation days – with herself as the mistress of the plantation. And her two derpy sons as her henchmen.

      I was hoping her career would tank! But it only took a financial/popularity hit and now she is still a thing, I’m sorry to say.

      Bless her heart!

      • Esmom says:

        Beautiful comment, I choked on my tea at your “henchmen” line. I also hoped so much that she would tank but I think the election of Donald Trump proved that she’s got way too many people on her side.

      • Dragon Wise says:

        This! Paula has zero subtlety. She wishes she was Scarlet O’Hara and is too dumb to understand she needed to keep that to herself. She still has some ride or dies, but her power is greatly diminished.

      • lucy2 says:

        I can’t believe she’s still a thing either.
        But she’s much less of a thing than she was at one point, thankfully. She was everywhere for a while with all kinds of sponsorships and deals, and most of that seems to have dried up.

      • holly hobby says:

        She may be alive and kicking but her career isn’t the same. I don’t see her on magazines or tv anymore. Maybe the Magats still eat at her restaurants. However, her career stalling is a good thing. Same thing with this one.

    • Sara says:


  2. Erinn says:

    Good. She so desperately wanted to come off as ~*~*REAL*~*~ and cool and soooo above the mainstream.

    Chrissy has had plenty of bad behavior over the years. But attacking two Asian women who have found mainstream success is such a bad look. Take away the shit that Chrissy has done and said, and whether or not you like her – she’s become successful. She’s hustled to get there. Yes, her marriage definitely helped, but she’s selling her persona and people like it. Marie Condo has created a product line that works with her branding – and she’s become successful. I have no idea why she thinks it’s so cool for her to shit on that, especially when she’s done PLENTY of paid promotion herself. Beyond that, I find it really laughable that she didn’t even bother to acquaint herself with the people who were EPs on her show.

    And if we’re going to talk shit about career beginnings, Roman started with Buzzfeed. Let’s not pretend that that’s some sort of prestigious position that allows her to turn her nose up at others.

    At the end of the day, the racist white girl is going to be forced to take a break after her second, professionally written apology. Then when the coast is clear, they’ll bring her right back because at the end of the day, white people will always get a pass.

    • Imtired says:

      Yes Kondo has become really successful but I don’t feel the product line is part of that. The Netflix series, yes. If you check out her products they are quite overpriced (or normal priced since they probably aren’t junk quality with poor labor practices), most people wouldn’t buy them and that’s not what makes her successful, nor is it selling out , imo.
      To me selling out is putting your name on more mass produced stuff with bad to mediocre quality and nothing special. Like most celeb perfumes for example. None of them have anything new /innovated like, obly ingrédients which have been tested to not be toxic (ITs a highly unregulated industry)

      • geekychick says:

        BUT, the products Roman criticized her for are product made by Japanese companies in japanese tradition and PROMOTED by Kondo….and Roman was accusing her of “selling minimalism, and then slapping her name on a mass product”. which wasn’t even the case!

    • MissMarierose says:

      Exactly right.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, this feels like a temporary pause while there’s still backlash, and then they’ll go back to her like nothing happened.
      I wonder if her show is going to go away, especially if Chrissy was involved as a producer. I wouldn’t want to produce a show with someone who said that about me! And to launch a show you need a lot of promotion, and this will be brought up every time.

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        Agree with everything here.
        She doubled down on what she said at first and then asked for sympathy- it was both racist and misogynistic and all sneered from a place of privilege

        She’s roadkill

      • holly hobby says:

        If you want a good laugh, you should read the Amazon reviews of her cookbooks. She really made a major faux pas here. Not even Olivia Pope can fix that.

    • Janet says:

      Hipsters = pretentious poverty. I guess when you’re a hipster with success, you need to sneer at those who don’t bother with pretentions?

      Because frankly, a $75 replica of a vintage kitchen utensil is about as pretentious as it gets.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        I didn’t know a single thing about this woman until reading the posts here. But her face just screams “smug and pretentious.” I get zero hipster vibes looking at her.

  3. Carol says:

    Poor Becky.

  4. Ruby_Woo says:

    Wow, America moves fast! In the UK, if you say awful things and negative attention for it, it actually helps your career and get you more exposure e.g. Lawrence Fox, Danny Baker.

    Many columnists in the tabloids are literally paid to say outrageous things for negative attention; it’s a sure fire way to get a regular column in a right-wing rag.

  5. Lyli says:

    Woah. Taking things too far.

    • Sarah says:

      Why do you think so?

      • Lyli says:

        In this situation, I think it’s a mistake and learn kind of scenario. She was held accountable, she delivered a comprehensive apology, taking it as far as making it personal. We progressives get at each other’s throat as if we don’t make mistakes ourselves. Of course we do. Anyways. I can’t explain it eloquently. And the “oh so you ‘re ok with racism”, my gosh. Aren’t they so pure and morally righteous at all times.

      • geekychick says:

        @Lyli, her first apology to Teigen was “I’m sure you’re not for women who attack/bring down other women”. She is totally tone-deaf and hasn’t learned anything, it’s just that a good publicist intervened with the second apology.
        She based her career on internalized racism, practically. Remember the Stew? How can she move on with that philosophy?

    • hindulovegod says:

      How so? Should there be no consequences for specifically attacking Asian women by using racist tropes to mock their accent and then referring to them as “a bitch.” Is that behavior acceptable in your professional settings?

    • Agreed. Cancel culture has gone too far.

      • Veronica S. says:

        The Times is a business with a reputation to maintain. We are all responsible for how we behave in a professional setting, and she made a serious faux pas that costs *them* credibility. That’s not cancel culture. That’s the natural repercussions of saying something stupid in the public eye and costing your employer PR money to deal with it. The NYT could care less about the ethics is my guess. It’s about their bottom line, and they’ll fade her out until they feel like there’s time for her to come back.

      • Yuzu says:

        It’s not cancel culture. People just called her out and are tired of this way that some white people have of adopting a culture, calling it their own, then erasing any history of that culture to fit with their “cool hipster” vibe. It’s annoying. I want less of it.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’m not sure what is meant by cancel culture. If someone’s making disparaging racist statements, like this, and co-opting cultural elements without even acknowledgement, I wouldn’t want to employ them either. That’s kind of how professionalism is supposed to work; your actions reflect on your employer and coworkers and the entire brand.

        Calling out racism (from anyone including Chrissy Teigen ) is valid and important. Don’t reduce it to cancel culture.

      • Katherine says:

        Elizabeth, perhaps I missed it but where are the “disparaging racist comments”? I thought she was being attacked because people are making assumptions based on the two people she criticized rather than what she said. The NY Times had no problem allowing, encouraging and directly engaging in biased attacks on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. They didn’t suspend their “privileged” writers who helped spread lies and bias against her and those nonprivileged communities she supported and sought to protect. The NY Times abandoned its objectivity and long tradition of unbiased and properly sourced news – it does not have clean journalistic hands.

      • Kim F Hall says:

        I don’t think she got suspended directly because of the Chrissy Teigen/Marie Kondo issue. The social media commentary revealed a long-standing problem with Roman appropriating /dumbing down ethnic–specially Asian–dishes with no attention to the politics or ethics of what she is doing. It makes her followers look bad as well as the paper.

        Before that terrible media interview (where she made fun of people complaining about her comments until someone realized that Teigen was an executive producer), there was only low-key rumblings about how derivative the recipes were. Now the rumbling are a roar and the NYTimes looks bad for not paying attention to POC critique.

        The overdue scrutiny of her work will not make her look good and I suspect the suspension is to give her time to re-tool her column. I’ll believe she’s “cancelled” when she actually doesn’t have a byline or book deals in 5 years time. If you need proof that “cancel culture” is BS, look at Zombie Matt Lauer.

      • anon says:

        Are you Elon Musk, @ JessicaWakefield ?

    • Molly says:

      Taking an Indian dish and calling it The Stew bothers me. I think Alison Roman is a dime a dozen and since it was her behavior that screwed up her image and negatively impacted her employer, I don’t care that this affects her career.

      She showed so much arrogance until she realized she couldn’t condescend her way out of it. She only apologized because she couldn’t make it go away.

      I read her interview. It’s bad in general.

      • Sarah says:

        Exactly. Putting your casual racism on full display in a professional interview is not “a mistake” – it’s who you are. You can do the work to unlearn it, but not if there are no consequences for not doing so. Apologizing is the first step, not the last.

      • anon says:

        That inteview was pure cringe, and very very revealing of her true nature.

      • xo says:

        There is casual racism & there is careless disregard/reckless insensitivity. I think Alison Roman is guilty of the later.

        General Point:
        A LOT of people internalize the idea that financial ambition/”selling out” is shameful. It’s a disempowering idea & it’s problematic, to be sure. Still, it feels wrong to jump on Roman when . . . I understand the cultural messages that gave rise to her emotional reaction to Kondo & Tiegen.

    • holly hobby says:

      And if you spewed the kind of garbage, like this one did, at work, you’d be suspended or let go too. This isn’t “cancel culture.” Corporations- especially media entities- have morality clauses whether you like it or not.

  6. Sarah says:

    The NYT loves to play the Both Sides game so yeah, she’ll be back once this dies down.

  7. Goldie says:

    The suspension is probably for her own good. They’re giving her time for the scandal to blow over. If she were to release a new recipe now, it would be ‘tainted’. Notice they said *temporary* leave. They’re not firing her. She’ll be fine.

  8. SJR says:

    First world problems.
    Do not give a flying rats arse about the majority of these folks who spend their days on social media.
    I honestly think Chrissy Teigen would curl up to die if she was forced to be quiet and alone with herself without mirrors for 7 days straight.

  9. sunny says:

    I mean, I’m glad she got called out but I still think this is something she can truly apologize and learn and grow from. I also think it is ironic that the NYC which has conservatives publishing some wild race-based claims(that the paper barely backed away from) actually came down on her at all. I guess that a woman who does a crappy thing is always easier to push than a man who does a truly reprehensible one?

    The NYT is such a messy and disappointing publication.

    • pineapple says:

      The New York Times is like any other institution. It was created in a Patriarchal, racist society and reflects that … as do many other institutions. It is hardly reason to call it messy and disappointing. The New York Times has some really well written, well thought out articles. It addresses climate, science and the environment. I wish my City newspaper had half the credentials of The Times. I saw an interview with the Editor of the Times and it was fascinating. He talked about the fact that he never has had a close relationship with the President as his job is to critique the President’s work and the two don’t align. He has worked while more than one President was in office … he seemed very eloquent and ethical.

    • pineapple says:

      I don’t know sunny … I just think some of the reporting seems valid and intelligent. Is the whole thing messy and disappointing? Reading through the comments on some of the articles, they are respectful and thoughtful and interesting. I know all institutions could do with major changes with regards to equality but I do think that paper has some valid articles to offer.

      • sunny says:

        All valid points and I’m sorry if my comment came off as everything the Times has done is crap, They have some amazing journalists but they have also used their platform in a dangerous and irresponsible way, especially over the last 5 years which is why so many people have stopped subscribing and that is what I mean about them being messy and disappointing… because they use to be a more responsible publication.

        That doesn’t mean they don’t have any talent but that their standards have absolutely fallen and as a former reader and subscriber, that sucks.

    • katharine says:

      You don’t “grow” when you’re a nasty person. I’m sure she’ll “learn” to control her mouth better now that she knows she can’t get away with her “I’m so sassy and irreverent” crap.

  10. Watson says:

    Pretty sure if she was such a douche in a public article she is probably worse in private. When people like that mess up I’m sure a host of people in the background were like “time to see this Karen get taken out by the manager”.

    She will still get work though. People still love dishes like The Stew and aren’t so scared of the food as long as it’s called that instead of curry. LOLOLOLOL

    • Eugh says:

      Someone formerly at GQ mentioned she has a long storied history with having issues with Asian women in particular for some reason. Other stories came out she’s just openly a hater to to everyone.

      I do not buy her apology, I think she was forced into it. She was flippant about it before the lengthy apology that doesn’t even sound like her writing.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yep once an asshole always an asshole. You can’t unglue that from her butt.

  11. RoSco says:

    Literally this scandal is the only reason I know about Alison Roman or whatever her name is. I hope she learns and does better so the next time I hear about her it’s not a hot mess.

    • pineapple says:

      Yah, RoSco, I have never heard of her either. It is a crappy way to get your name around. I would like to see people who do stuff like this let go. It is racist, period. There should be repercussions, you should loose your job. Men and women alike. You can “try to do better and learn” to keep your next job, but, this time? You F#$#ed up.

    • AMA1977 says:

      I can’t stand food writers who are so condescending and myopic about food. She’s the kind who has to put someone else down to make herself feel good, which is exactly what she did in the ridiculous, unprofessional interview that has landed her in (excuse me) hot water. The ego of someone to declare a recipe The Cookie or The Stew is so galling. Everyone has different likes and dislikes; everyone’s opinion about the food they like to eat is valid. I think her chocolate-chip shortbread cookies sound disappointing and not at all what I want from a chocolate-chip cookie. I’ve spent years perfecting *my* recipe, but I would never consider it definitive to anyone but me.

      She has a need to feel superior over others, which is off-putting to say the least. Get over yourself, honey. Lots of us love to cook, lots of us know about food history, lots of us are grateful to honor the traditions and cultures that produced our favorite ingredients, techniques, and recipes, and lots of us cook to show love, not to show everyone how great we think we are. She is basic, shallow, and mean, and I’m glad she’s on hiatus.

  12. minx says:

    Never heard of her.

  13. Suz says:

    I work in the museum industry. For a few years, I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Every day after work, I’d walk down Bedford Ave from the subway to my apartment, and the hipster artists sitting in the sidewalk seating at Fabiane’s would cast me judgey looks for my business clothes that I had on. And I so wanted to say to them, “No, honey, I’m in the arts too, but I actually work to pay my rent. Enjoy mommy and daddy’s monthly check that affords you to eat at this overpriced joint and bartend one night a week.” Anyway, that’s how I’m feeling toward this Alison person right now. So what if Chrissy and Marie work to make money?
    That being said, her apology at least sounds genuine. Not the horrible “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” non apology.

    • Eugh says:

      This was apology 2.0. Her first was a “i’m sorry if I offended you” on top of it, she didn’t apologize to Marie the first time

  14. Teebee says:

    Chances are this move is prompted by more than just trends on Twitter.

    The NYT cooking online brand is up there. It’s one of the few sources I pay for online, and I pay for very little content. This is a PR move, for protection purposes.

    Either Roman’s sanctioning will lose momentum as time passes and she’ll return or the powers that be will assess it’s easier and sounder to dump her permanently and start afresh with a new face for its beloved brand.

    • BeanieBean says:

      My guess is it will be the latter. Food writers/bloggers are a dime a dozen. She’s history at the NYT.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    All she did was to reveal to everyone that she’s not half as clever as she thinks she is. It’s not surprising there are repercussions for making dumb comments in an industry where image is everything – despite her claims otherwise that ~performance doesn’t matter.~ When you consider the revelation that Chrissy Teigan was an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER on her show, she just comes across as incredibly stupid and privileged.

    • Shoshone says:

      I’m stunned that she didn’t know that Chrissy was an executive producer. How can you not know something like that?

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    So people CAN stand up and be actionable when needed to confront bad behavior?

  17. Jules says:

    Chrissy is the worst and not a talented cook. She has a ton more money and resources than Allison. You can disagree with someone and state an opinion.

    • Rosalee says:

      Well I’m going to take beef Wellington and call it a weenuk roll and publish the recipe…for those who know Ojibway 😉😂😂

  18. Jaded says:

    If you’re a celebrity cook like she is you cannot co-opt a country’s or region’s cuisine, slap a new name on it and call it your creation. Give credit where credit is due – at least mention that you got your inspiration from a chef in India or Mexico or wherever, or a favourite cookbook, but what Roman’s doing is stealing someone else’s thunder who did all the hard work.

  19. Faye G says:

    Good! I’m tired of white women shitting on people of color, then crying when they are called out for it. I think she should stay gone.

  20. Tashiro says:

    Never heard of her.

  21. Rural Juror says:

    I’m not defending Alison Roman’s comments, but I think it’s worth mentioning two things that have been brought up by several people. First, if you look at the original recipe for “the stew” that was published in the NYT, the description says, “Spiced chickpeas are crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk for an insanely creamy, basically-good-for-you stew that evokes stews found in South India and parts of the Caribbean.” So, she does acknowledge the origin of this recipe and if it’s a mashup of dishes from two different cultures, it’s probably more accurate (and respectful) to refer to it as a stew, rather than calling it by the name of a particular Indian or Caribbean dish.
    Second, this dish started being called “The Stew” by a bunch of people on Instagram after it quickly developed a bit of a cult following. She’s not the one who started that. I know because I follow a ton of chefs/food writers on IG (including Alison Roman and Chrissy Tiegen) and basically watched it happen in real time. It was actually something that was discussed in the original article where she made those nasty comments. She was talking about how you can never really tell which recipes are going to catch on and develop cult followings and that there are plenty of recipes out there (both by her and by other people) that she thinks are better than ones that have become super popular, but they just don’t catch on the same way for whatever reason.

    • LeiDub311 says:

      Nope. Roman called it “Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric” at first. The title/description was changed to the current “Spiced chickpeas are crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk for an insanely creamy, basically-good-for-you stew that evokes stews found in South India and parts of the Caribbean.” AFTER people started complaining about her co-opting another culture and making a curry but not calling it curry.

    • Angie says:

      What Leidub311 said. This was only changed after people complained

  22. Alyse says:

    That bottom photo gives me big Lena Dunham energy

  23. Peanutbuttr says:

    This is par of course for white foodie elite. I still remember when Alice Waters tried to lobby Obama to fire Cristeta Comerford, who is Filipina, and hire her white friends to be White House chefs.