Masterchef’s ‘Rendang Lady’ announces new cookbook

A contestant who was eliminated in controversial circumstances from a competitive BBC cooking show last year has announced the publication date of her first cookbook.

Zaleha Kadir Olpin was knocked out in the quarter finals of MasterChef after its two iconic presenters John Torode and Gregg Wallace wrongly adjudged her Malaysian Chicken Rendang as not having crispy skin.

The decision immediately came under fire across social media with even the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razek rhetorically tweeting: “Where does anyone eat chicken rendang ‘crispy’?”.

Since then the Malaysian-born cook has cleverly reinvented herself around the controversy by using it to her advantage (Zaleha interview here).

Holding a copy of her new book, Zaleha made the announcement on her recently launched Facebook page That Rendang Lady proudly declaring:  “It’s here!!! I finally get to hold a copy of ‘My Rendang Isn’t Crispy’.”

This book is a warm plate of Malaysian goodness, perfect for serving from all kitchens, at home and abroad. – Celebrity Malay Chef, Dato Fazley Yaakob

“I cannot tell you how excited I am feeling right now! From months of hard work to finally being able to hold it in my hands I just hope you will enjoy and appreciate it,” she said.

At a pre-order price of £19.99 on Amazon, the hardback copy comprises 148 pages and will be published by Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) firstly in Asia on 1 July and then in the UK on 16 September.

Described as a “a culinary voyage through the vibrant flavours of Malaysia”, Zaleha is promising to “maintain traditional methods of cooking… handed down [to her] from her mother and grandmother”.

Fully titled ‘My Rendang Isn’t Crispy and Other Favourite Malaysian Dishes’, the publication will also be sharing “lessons she learnt growing up in a culinary family, with insights into the importance of food in Malaysian culture”.

And pre-release reviews have also been shared including one from the winner of the first season of MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia, Chef Dato Fazley Yaakob, who said: “This book is a warm plate of Malaysian goodness, perfect for serving from all kitchens, at home and abroad.”

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