Kiwi chef's 'immigrants make America great' message triggers death threats

A New Zealand chef in New York has received death threats after his seemingly harmless swipe at US President Donald Trump.

Mark Simmons likes to add a joke one liner to the bottom of the bill, but when he took on the former Celebrity Apprentice host's immigration policy he got way more than he bargained for.

A picture of a receipt from his restaurant containing the message "immigrants make America great - they also cooked your food and served you today" was posted to Twitter, where it received hundreds of thousands of interactions. Then things changed for the Invercargillite.

But Mr Simmons found most of the angry Trump supporters were all talk.

"At first it was all a bit shocking, but then I got a bit jaded of people calling me up telling me they were going to kill me," he says.

"I think at one point I had a guy call me and tell me he was on his way round to shoot me. I waited here until 11 at night [and] he didn't show up, so I called back and said, 'You didn't come, I call bullshit.'"

Immigrants make America great and they cooked your food today, reads Kiwi chef in New York's message.
Photo credit: Twitter

The effect of the storm Mr Simmons found himself caught up in was surprising, as business has boomed at his Brooklyn restaurant.

And it wasn't just New Yorkers wanting a slice of the pie - the receipt story found its way into major news outlets such as CNN and the Washington Post.

Mr Simmons says he wasn't really trying to send a political message but was just supporting the fellow immigrants employed at his restaurant.

"One of the young gentlemen that worked here, he had friends who had their parents carted away, so I just wanted them to know that I had their back," says Mr Simmons.

Now he mixes up his receipts with occasional political messages, riddles or nursery rhymes.


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