A ‘Masterchef’ row has arisen so huge that it’s sparked intervention from the Malaysian Prime Minister.
In last week’s instalment of the BBC cooking contest, judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace chose to eliminate contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin, criticising her Nasi Lemak because the chicken’s skin wasn’t “crispy”.
This led to a row on social media, with many pointing out the Malaysian dish doesn’t always traditionally have “crispy” skin, which led to a ‘Masterchef’ spokesperson issuing a statement.
A rep for the show 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.”
As the row wore on, even the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak got involved, asking on Twitter: “Does anyone eat chicken rendang ‘crispy’?”
Gregg and John have now clarified the situation, during an interview on Wednesday’s (4 April) ‘Good Morning Britain’.
“What happened was, part of her dish was a rendang,” Gregg explained, “And I said that the skin wasn’t crispy.
“I didn’t mean it should be fried, like fried chicken. What I meant was, it wasn’t cooked and it simply wasn’t cooked. But rest assured, the best cooks will always go through!”
Adding that “crispy” probably wasn’t the right word to use, Gregg added: “She didn’t go out because her skin wasn’t crispy, she went out because the other cooks were better.
“If you look at it, you can tell the skin just wasn’t cooked. It’s white and flappy. ‘Crispy’ was the wrong word. But the skin wasn’t cooked.”
So there you have it: Gregg didn’t mean to say the chicken wasn’t “crispy”, nobody wants to eat undercooked chicken, and we can all look forward to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on the next series of ‘Gogglebox’.
‘Good Morning Britain’ airs every weekday morning on ITV.