KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Mohd Nadzri Redzuawan, popularly known as Chef Riz and a judge on MasterChef Malaysia, is in hot soup.
In his MasterChef profile on the Astro Ria website, he claimed to have worked at two famous restaurants in the US, but checks with both of them have revealed otherwise.
The son of local celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, claimed he worked as “chef de cuisine” — also called a head chef — at the world famous Mario Batali’s flagship Italian restaurant Babbo in New York when he was only 22.
Batali is an American chef who is as famous for his signature shorts and orange Crocs as his string of restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Singapore and has starred in the “Iron Chef America” TV series.
“These claims are untrue. Mr Nadzri has never worked at Babbo,” Mario Batali’s communications director, Pamela Lewy, said in an email reply yesterday.
When contacted, Chef Riz insisted he did work at Babbo.
“I was there for a year, from January 2005 to December 2005,” he said.
Now 29, he also told The Malaysian Insider he worked as “sous-chef” at Le Bernardin under chef Eric Ripert — of the Asian Food Channel’s “Avec Eric” fame — before returning home to star in several TV programmes.
A sous-chef is the second in command of the kitchen and directly assists the head chef.
“I took a break, a short holiday before joining Le Bernardin for two years. I was there from March 2006 to July 2008,” he said to The Malaysian Insider in a phone interview yesterday.The Malaysian Insider
The Malaysian Insider
MasterChef Malaysia is a cooking show under the MasterChef franchise that is also present in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Greece, India, Sweden, Indonesia and the UK.
The show’s first season on Astro Ria began its run on October 22. Shooting for the series is scheduled to continue until the end of the year.