KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — MasterChef UK judge John Torode attempted yesterday to downplay his remarks about rendang that was not “crispy” and which sparked an international gastronomy row, insisting he was trying to say it was undercooked.
Appearing on the Good Morning Britain talk show, Torode sought to clarify his remarks that have triggered uproar not only in Malaysia, but in neighbouring Singapore and Indonesia as well.
“When I said the rendang wasn't crispy, I didn't mean that it should be fried,” Torode said in his defence. “What I meant was it wasn't cooked.”
The host seized on this and reminded Torode of his exact remark, “You said 'crispy'!”
Torode quickly changed the subject after that by claiming “the best cooks go through (the contest)”.
The region has continued to seethe over Torode and fellow judge Gregg Wallace's remarks about the quality of Malaysian contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin's nasi lemak accompanied with a chicken rendang.
Among notable critics of the controversial remarks include Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Tredall and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.