Malaysian-born MasterChef heads to Jakarta
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Malaysian-born Adam Liaw is cooking for 400 Indonesians this weekend after the archipelago tasted defeat in a SEA Games football match against their bitter rivals.
Liaw, who won the popular television competition MasterChef Australia last year, is the guest chef at high-end Jakarta restaurant Portico this weekend.
The Jakarta Globe reported that a total of four sittings for dinner last night and tonight have already been sold out thanks to the popularity of the show on Indonesian television.
The newspaper said that Penang-born Liaw (picture) arrived in Jakarta for the first time on Thursday to prepare dishes such as tuna tartare, tea-smoked lamb rack and houjicha meringue for diners this weekend.
“When I cook rendang and I call it Malaysian, everyone yells at me, saying ‘That’s not Malaysian! It’s Indonesian!” Liaw was quoted by the English daily as saying.
Malaysia and Indonesia’s already strained relations have worsened of late after allegations by the republic’s lawmakers that Malaysia grabbed land in Borneo by moving border markers separating Sabah and Sarawak from Kalimantan.
Indonesia’s loss to Malaysia in the SEA Games also follows from a previous 3-0 defeat in the Asean Football Federation competition in December last year where Indonesian fans accused their Malaysian counterparts of using laser light to blind Indonesian players.
Malaysia’s own MasterChef show was mired in controversy earlier this month after Mohd Nadzri Redzuawan, popularly known as Chef Riz, was found to have lied about holding senior positions in two acclaimed New York restaurants.
The 29-year-old judge of the reality cooking show had initially said he was the head chef at Mario Batali’s world-famous Babbo in New York at the age of 22 and then worked as sous chef (deputy head chef) at Le Bernardin before returning home to Malaysia.
He later admitted he overstated his qualifications on the channel’s website and apologised in a two-line statement to The Malaysian Insider as well as on the MasterChef Malaysia Facebook wall.
The MasterChef franchise is also present in the US, New Zealand, Croatia, Greece, India, Sweden, Indonesia and the UK.