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Masterchef Contestant’s Cookbook Sends Judge Gregg Wallace to the Burns Unit

Zaleha Kadir Olpin’s debut hits back at Masterchef’s Eurocentric judging of her chicken rendang

The cover of My Rendang Isn’t Crispy by Masterchef contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin
Zaleha Kadir Olpin stares down Gregg Wallace
Marshall Cavendish International

Revenge is a dish best served as a book deal

One Masterchef U.K. contestant has taken sweet, petty revenge on its judges’ ignorance with a new cookbook. In April 2018, Gregg Wallace criticised Malaysian contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin’s chicken rendang, saying that the skin — slowly cooked down in spice paste and coconut milk — wasn’t crispy. The “error” sent her home.

Chicken rendang, as anyone who is employed by a national broadcaster to judge food on television ought to know, is not designed to be crispy. While this was lost on Wallace, it was not lost on Malaysians, or anyone with a passing interest in food, creating an uproarious conversation around cultural responsibility in food that got the Malaysian prime minister involved.

While Olpin told Singapore’s the New Paper that she had “moved on” four months after, she now has a U.K. release for her debut cookbook: My Rendang Isn’t Crispy. Gregg Wallace: please report to the burns unit.

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