MasterChef UK says judge did not suggest chicken rendang should be crispy: Report

MasterChef UK says judge did not suggest chicken rendang should be crispy: Report

MasterChef UK judges
MasterChef UK judges John Torode (left) and Gregg Wallace. (Photo: Facebook/MasterChef UK)

SINGAPORE: MasterChef UK judge Gregg Wallace did not suggest that chicken rendang should be crispy, said a representative from the cooking show in a statement following the controversy over the judges' comments about the dish. 

Malaysia-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin had prepared chicken rendang to go with nasi lemak on the show, but was eliminated from the competition after judges Wallace and John Torode criticised the dish. 

"I like the rendang flavour, there's a coconut sweetness. However, the chicken skin isn't crispy. It can't be eaten and all the sauce is on the skin so I can't eat it," Mr Wallace was reported to have complained. 

Mr Torode also called Ms Zaleha’s dish a “mistake” and that the chicken had not been “cooked down” enough to become “lovely and soft”. 

According to a report in The Telegraph on Wednesday (Apr 4), a MasterChef spokesperson said: "MasterChef has always celebrated international cuisine and on this occasion our judges’ comments were relevant to the dish that had been cooked on the show.

"Gregg wasn’t suggesting that the dish should traditionally have crispy skin - he was saying that he couldn’t experience the flavours of the dish as it was presented."

​​​​​​​The judges were heavily criticised in recent days over their comments on chicken rendang, which is considered an iconic dish in Malaysia. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell also waded into the controversy, saying there is no such thing as crispy rendang. 

Source: CNA/hs/(gs)