Florida chef’s pink sauce videos stir up TikTok backlash – The Guardian

Chef Pii’s tips on how to use her $20-a-bottle condiment have won 40m views, she says, but many wonder what goes into it
It’s pink. It’s a sauce. It’s called, rather prosaically, Pink Sauce. And it’s doing a very good job of trying to break the internet right now.
A Florida chef’s TikTok videos showing her dunking fried chicken, french fries and vegetables into her culinary creation have gone viral. Up to 40m views, she claims.
But Chef Pii, 29, who has declined to reveal her real name and promotes herself as a personal Miami-based chef, has been forced on the defensive after social media users questioned the legality and ingredients of her product, which she has been marketing on TikTok at $20-a-bottle since 1 July.
The now controversial sauce – described by many as having the colour and consistency of Pepto-Bismol indigestion medicine – has spawned many other videos as TikTokers engage in frenzied debate over whether it is safe, or not. The arguments have now spread to Twitter.
At first Chef Pii refused to disclose her secret ingredients. Then when she did – they apparently include sunflower seed oil, raw honey, milk, distilled vinegar and the all-important pitaya (or dragonfruit) to give it its distinctive hue – there were questions over quantities used as others tried to whip it up at home.
The backlash continues with questions over whether it should be refrigerated, poor leaky packaging, and whether the product complied with Food and Drug Administration protocols.
“You really saw a woman making bubblegum buttermilk ranch in her kitchen in a Ninja blender and you was like, yep, now’s the time to support small businesses, I’ll take three. Not me!” TikToker Demetrius Fields said in a post. “I saw her and was like, fuck her dreams. And that’s why I’m alive and you’re in the ER.”
Pii told the Washington Post: “The world is really curious about my creation,” adding: “And they’re being malicious.”
Her product, she says, is legal and safe. She makes it in a commercial facility that is certified by the Food and Drug Administration and not a home kitchen, as some people suggested. “I’ve been using it and serving it to my clients for a year – no one has ever gotten sick,” she said
As for confusion over quantities, a typo in the graphic design of the ingredients mixed up the number of grams of product with the number of servings (444 servings instead of about 30 servings totalling 444 grams), she said.
She has apologised for early mistakes. “This is a small business that is moving really, really fast,” she said in one video.
Some are not convinced. One sceptic posted: “A woman is filling used mayo bottles up with ranch dressing and red kool-aid dust, then shipping it via ground mail to customers who won’t get it for 3 weeks. What’s holding me back?”
After getting backlash, Pii said she had added the instructions to “please refrigerate”.
She has sold about 700 bottles so far, she said. “I’m a normal human being, and I woke up to a million insults,” she said.
Pii admitted to BuzzFeed News that the negative narrative was becoming a bit much. “I feel like Madonna or Beyoncé just tripped onstage and I woke up with their phone in my hand,” she said. “I’m good though. Only the strong survive.”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *