PETALING JAYA: Celebrity Chef Redzuwan Ismail, also known as Chef Wan, defended himself today after controversy erupted online over a giant bowl of Sarawak laksa that was thrown away after setting a record.
“I didn’t cook the laksa nor was I aware that they (the organizers) were not feeding it to others until I was there pagi tu (that morning),” Chef Wan said in an online posting.
Chef Wan who was present at the record-breaking event in Kuching, wrote on his Instagram account that he had been invited to give a cooking demonstration after the launch of Plaza Merdeka’s new food hall by Ragad Walled Al-Kurdi, wife of the Sarawak Governor.
When he arrived in Sarawak two nights ago, Plaza Merdeka representatives approached him to take part in the event to cook the biggest bowl of Sarawak laksa.
“Naturally I said yes…I was also excited to know how big the bowl was and the record that they had to achieve to be in the Malaysian Book of Records.”
The organisers came under fire for wasting food by throwing away the laksa after setting the record, according to the Borneo Post.
One of Chef Wan’s followers had also asked him yesterday what would happen to the Sarawak laksa after the event was over. “Datuk, I would like to question whether the laksa can be eaten? Did they distribute it? Don’t tell me they broke a record and then let the food go to waste?”
Chef Wan responded by saying the food would have been contaminated from being left out in the open for hours. “You simply cannot take that risk,” was part of his response.
Criticism was also posted on a Facebook page called Sarawak Update, in which a user said: “Stupid organizer and stupid leaders should be inserted into Guinness World Book Of Records for being jailed after a record for wasting food” and pointed out that it was a serious offence in some developed countries to waste food.
Facebook user Ben Yap took Malaysian elites to task over the wastage, adding that they have “never known hunger”.
“Malaysia at its best…. After record-breaking feat the entire bowl is put in the bin. Thank you Malaysian Aristocrats for showing us how easily you waste thousands of dollars all for a little line in a book,” he said.
At the event, 15 cooks were reported to have taken 18 hours to prepare the biggest bowl of Sarawak laksa, using 100kg of Sarawak laksa paste, 225kg of rice noodles, 90kg of prawns, 1,008 eggs, 90kg of bean sprouts, and 80kg of chicken.