Samantha Bee is taking aim at the Trump administration again, and this time she’s doing it by channeling celebrity chef Guy Fieri and taking part in a QuickFire Challenge with Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi.
The late night host, who landed in hot water back in May after using a vulgar term to describe President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka, is calling out the administration for its harsh immigration policies, specifically highlighting how such practices, which include deporting illegal immigrants, will harm the restaurant industry.
Per Bee’s segment, an estimated 1.3 million undocumented immigrants work in the restaurant industry across the United States, meaning everyone who has ever eaten food in America has, as Bee puts it, “benefitted from the work of an undocumented immigrant.”
The Canadian then channels Guy Fieri and transforms into “Girl Fieri” before “cruising on down to Flavortown” to speak with an undocumented immigrant named Cristina Martinez, who owns a restaurant in Philadelphia called South Philly Barbacoa.
After dropping some “deep-fried sizzle bombs” as Girl Fieri, Bee talks to Martinez about the role immigrants play in the restaurant industry. Given her legal status – Martinez fled to America to escape an abusive partner – she feels she has a duty to speak out. “I’m not afraid to talk about the platform that chefs have because we have the power to change the system,” she said. “If Donald Trump comes here, he is welcome.”
As several undocumented restaurant workers explained to Bee, they are often taken advantage of because of their citizenship status, which also leaves them with little recourse to fight for fair treatment.
Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi is looking to change that, but first Bee, 48, pretended as though she was participating in a QuickFire Challenge while in the presence of the food competition judge. “It’s important to remember who I’m doing this for,” Bee, as a Top Chef contestant tells the camera. “Myself.”
Though Lakshmi wasn’t a fan of contestant Sam’s ham and cheese sandwich with a Jolly Rancher center, she did have some insights to offer about immigrants who work in the food sector. “I think the food landscape in this country would be completely different without immigrant labor,” Lakshmi explained. “[Immigrants] will do the grunt work that nobody else is willing to do, because they have to support themselves, their families.”
Watch the complete segment above.
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