Masterchef UK’s judges are backpedaling after controversial comments surrounding chicken rendang left everyone outraged from the Malaysian Prime Minister to KFC.
It all began when Zaleha Kadir Olpin, a Malaysian-born cook competing in the series, was dramatically eliminated after serving a Malaysian-Indonesian dish – chicken rendang. According to the exceptionally British judges, Gregg Wallace and John Torode, a big failing of the dish was that the chicken wasn’t crispy.
The thing is, it wasn’t meant to be crispy and maybe they should know that?
@masterchefuk judges! This is Malaysian Chicken Rendang ????????. The chicken is not CRISPY and yes it’s wet because the rendang spices that coat the chicken is to-die-for. ???? #notfriedchicken #malaysianfood #proudmalaysian. Recipe here: https://rasamalaysia.com/chicken-rendang/ or search on rasamalaysia.com #rendang #chickenrendang #hiduprendang
Within hours it had become known as ‘rendangate’, as those with better knowledge of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine hurried to put the two British chefs in their place.
Even the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had something to say, suggesting perhaps the judges had confused the dish with KFC.
Maybe you are confusing rendang chicken with KFC ???? https://t.co/yjsw0CeFtR— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) April 3, 2018
To help clarify things, KFC Malaysia jumped on to Instagram and shared an image of their fried chicken with the title “not rendang”, and congratulating Ms Zaleha on her work. The image went off and has since been liked over 6000 times.
Bumbling along with Hugh Grant levels of awkwardness, judge Torode attempted to deflect the criticism, tweeting that he enjoyed the conversation around the topic before signing off with an Indian greeting.
“Maybe Rendang is Indonesian!! Love this !! Brilliant how excited you are all getting … Namaste.”
The tweet has since been deleted. Yikes.
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza