Seeing Malaysians unite over something can be quite a challenge, but there are a few exceptions that’ll garner everyone’s undivided support and unity – sports and food.
Recently, 'MasterChef UK
' aired an episode where one of the contestants, Malaysian Zaleha Kadir Olpin
, was eliminated because of her nasi lemak rendang
Her elimination triggered a massive backlash not only from Malaysians, but also our neighbours Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei. But it wasn’t the dish that caused the drama, it was what the judges said about it.
Judge Gregg Wallace
said that skin on Zaleha's chicken rendang wasn’t “crispy enough” and it “can’t be eaten” while the other judge, John Torode
, told her that the chicken rendang on the side was “a mistake” and the chicken wasn’t cooked long enough to “fall apart.”
Naturally, Malaysians took it to social media to criticise both judges about their lack of knowledge on the Malaysian cuisine.
You can watch the whole disaster below:
The controversy heated up after Torode responded to some tweets a couple of days later, suggesting that rendang is actually an Indonesian dish. What was even more surprising was that he ended his comment with the word ‘namaste’ (like, what?).
The tweets have been deleted since.
But in a turn of events, some super talented Malaysian netizens have discovered that Torode previously came to Malaysia to film a 10-episode travel series focusing on local food titled John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure
And what’s more ironic is that in one of the episodes, he was seen learning how to cook duck rendang in Langkawi, according to a report by The Star
. He also tasted the dish at the end of the show.
The series was aired in the United Kingdom back in 2015.
Well, what a bummer, eh? To have someone single-handedly teaching you how to cook rendang and yet you failed to understand the whole concept of the dish.