KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Malaysia’s culinary ambassador Datuk Redzuawan Ismail — better known as Chef Wan — took to Facebook today where he scolded his son, budding TV chef Mohd Nadzri Redzuawan, for beefing up his MasterChef Malaysia profile and shaming the family.
The 29-year-old judge of the reality cooking show, known as Chef Riz, claimed to have worked in senior positions at two critically-acclaimed restaurants in New York until yesterday, when The Malaysian Insider reported otherwise after checking with both restaurants.
The young TV personality has since apologised and changed his MasterChef Malaysia profile on the Astro Ria website to omit references of having worked or trained at US celebrity chefs Mario Batali’s flagship Babbo restaurant or Eric Ripert’s Michelin three-star Le Bernardin.
On his Facebook page today, Chef Wan told fans he only found out about his son’s transgression last night after being interviewed on US talk programme “The Today Show”.
“When I was told about the new of my son overstated his working experienced Abroad when non of that is true on the Masterchef Profile in his CV, I told him not only this is embarrassing for him likewise for me and the family but now he must appologised to the public and accept his unwise behaviour and face the consequences [sic],” he said.
The star of the Asian Food Channel’s “Best Wan” cooking show appeared upset at Chef Riz’s attempt to embellish his curriculum vitae (CV) but did not try to defend his only son.
Instead, he did the opposite.
“Let those people use this against him padan lah muka dia (serves him right),” he said.
“As I have always like to be honest about what I said I told him last night this is worse than a guru (teacher) catching a student in the class lying... Shame on him,” he added, stunning several of his fans and prompting requests for him to forgive his only son.
Chef Wan was also eager to distance himself from his son’s behaviour and said the 29-year-old was of age and has to be responsible for his own deeds.
“As a father I cannot be always responsible of my kids yang dah besar2 ini punya perbuatan,” he said.
Chef Riz, the youngest judge on the local reality TV cooking show, admitted yesterday 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.
Chef Riz was initially portrayed as having held senior positions at the two critically-acclaimed restaurants in the US, but checks with both revealed otherwise.
Yesterday, Astro Ria amended Chef Riz’s MasterChef Malaysia profile on its website at about 9am, shortly after The Malaysian Insider reported the story.
The second profile describes Chef Riz as a “trainee under the guidance of the Chef de Cuisine at the famed Italian restaurant (Babbo) in New York, owned by celebrity Chef Mario Batali, and was a trainee under the guidance of the Sous Chef at Le Bernadin, New York, a three-star Michelin restaurant owned by Eric Rupert [sic]”.
Chef Riz originally claimed he worked as “chef de cuisine” — also called a head chef — at Batali’s world famous Babbo in New York when he was only 22.
He also said he was “sous-chef” at Le Bernardin under chef 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 in a professional kitchen and directly assists the head chef.
When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, both Babbo and Le Bernardin refuted Chef Riz’s claims of having worked with them.
MasterChef Malaysia is a reality 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 till year’s end.