"They’re a little short... They’re inadequate in certain situations."

Restaurateur and MasterChef Italia judge Joe Bastianich has been slammed for making racist comments to Chinese nail salon workers.

In a recent episode of cooking show MasterChef Italia, Bastianich is seen visiting a nail salon. Whilst the employees give him a manicure and pedicure, Bastianich repeatedly corrects the women’s pronunciation.

According to the Huffington Post, Bastianich alludes to an offensive stereotype about Asian male genitalia and asks the women if they had an Italian or Chinese boyfriend.

“I don’t know, personally … Chinese men … have some defects sometimes, they’re a little short,” Bastianich says, according to a HuffPost translation. “They’re inadequate in certain situations.”

“This is hard for me,” the woman responds. Bastianich nonetheless continues  “But we need to confront this conversation, because that’s the reality.”

The restauranteur, also known for being Mario Batali’s business partner suggests to the women that they change their names and corrects their pronunciation of “r”. He asks, “Why haven’t I ever seen a dead Chinese person? What do the Chinese do with the dead?”

Bastianich has since apologised for the clip saying, “This was a scripted segment shot in a Milan nail salon that I’ve gone to regularly. I know the women, and we were given the questions to discuss in advance.”

“That said, it’s clear that some of what I said was in poor taste and not reflective of my views. I’m sorry I said those things.”

Nonetheless, many have criticised the chef, branding him as “racist”. Paulina Farro, a contestant on Season 4 of MasterChef said she was “not surprised by this.”

“If this isn’t you, then why is your mouth moving?” asks one Twitter user.

“Why is this not a bigger deal?” Tweets chef David Chan.