Popular East Bay pop-up restaurant Broke Ass Cooks shut down by health inspectors

Pandemic-born runaway hit Broke Ass Cooks just became yet another pop-up restaurant to be shut down by Alameda County health inspectors, according to its founders. The move indicates that the county is beginning to crack down on the growing number of food businesses operating in legal gray areas since the pandemic has started.

Founders Bilal Ali, Keone Koki and Hoang Le, who started the jerk chicken business in their shared West Oakland backyard without health department permits, said their landlord told them Wednesday that she had received a notice from Alameda County that they had to cease operations at the property. A spokesperson from the health department confirmed that it sent the notice of a violation of the California Retail Food Code for being an unpermitted food vendor after receiving a complaint about the business.

The friends and house mates from Broke Ass Cooks started the company after being laid

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When food media let me down, I found fellow South Asian cooks on Instagram and TikTok

When I was growing up, food was a source of pride and shame alike, a battle between the two that was intertwined with my dual identity: Pakistani American.

In middle school in Memphis in the 2000s, my excitement as I watched my mother pack leftovers of saag and rice for my lunch became anxiety as I rushed to conceal them from my peers. While some of my favorite foods were my mother’s mutton biryani, aloo methi parathas and ras malai, I absorbed the otherness that came with White people’s judgment and a stigma around South Asian cuisine, and I let the shame override my pride in my culture’s food.

In many ways, little has changed, and I still often find myself feeling “othered” about my food, especially when I look at

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