Chef Sues Dude Ranch Owner Who Allegedly Requested ‘Black People Food’

An African-American cook at a dude ranch in Nevada was fired after complaining about a hostile work environment

This was just one of many racially charged comments that were allegedly exchanged in the kitchen at Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort.

An African-American chef who used to work at the Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort — a high-end dude ranch in Nevada — is suing his former employee for racial discrimination after allegedly making racially charged comments, like asking him to cook “black people food.”

Chef Armand Appling filed the lawsuit after he was fired in 2014, allegedly because he complained about a hostile environment following multiple offensive comments.

The owner of the ranch, Madeleine Pickens, ex-wife of Oklahoma energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, warned Appling multiple times to not serve “white people food,” and instead serve “black people food” like fried chicken, ribs, and cornbread.

He was also allegedly asked by Pickens to fire two kitchen employees — also black — because they didn’t look like the other employees at the country club and didn’t "fit the image" of the staff she wanted at the ranch, Fox News reported. Appling claims that Pickens allegedly called one of the terminated employees a "bull" or "ox," and complained the other had "too much personality."

Pickens’ lawyers have not denied that the comments were said. Instead, they are arguing that the comment “reflect a non-racial personality conflict and amount to discourtesy, rudeness or lack of sensitivity.”


The original lawsuit was dismissed in the District Court because Appling’s lawyers could not prove the extent of racial hostility that would be needed for a civil rights claim. However, the judge is giving them until Jan. 13 to refile “an amended complaint seeking unspecified damages from Pickens' nonprofit, Save America's Mustangs,” Fox News detailed.