Rendangate: MasterChef UK judge recorded travel series on Malaysian food – Nation
PETALING JAYA: Masterchef UK judge John Torode, infamous for the Rendangate controversy, had actually made a 10-part travel series on Malaysian food.
John Torode’s “Malaysian Adventure” for the Good Food channel in United Kingdom aired in 2015.
And in one of the episodes that was filmed in Langkawi, he learns about cooking duck rendang from a local chef there.
However, he is seen in the episode only trying the rendang sauce, not the meat. He gave it a thumbs up.
MasterChef UK got on the wrong end of the stick when one of its judges Gregg Wallace criticised a contestant, Malaysian chef Zaleha Kadir Olpin, because her rendang chicken was not “crispy enough”.
Torode had chimed in by saying that her chicken rendang is a mistake.
“It hasn’t had enough time to cook down and become lovely and soft and falling apart. Instead the chicken is just tough and not really flavoursome,” he said.
Chicken rendang is a dry curry dish where chicken is stewed in coconut milk and spices until the chicken is tender.
“Maybe Rendang is Indonesian !! Love this!! Brilliant how excited you are all getting .. Namaste,” John Torode said on Twitter in response to the barrage of tweets he received.
Some people on Twitter accused him of trying to drive a wedge between the two countries, but that clearly backfired after the people of four nations – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and even Singapore – united to defend the dish and slam Torode.
In an interview posted on the Good Food website about his series, Torode had said that rendang was one of his favourites.
“I’ve always made rendang – (it) has been one of my favourite things for years, and I suppose in a way that sort of spurred me on to actually go and travel Malaysia because it’s one of those great dishes. So rendang will be in there quite a lot,” he was quoted as saying.