Adam Liaw slams MasterChef judge's ‘Asian food’ comment

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo has found himself in hot water after a controversial comment about ‘Asian food’ sparked a strong reaction from viewers.

During a challenge on Sunday night’s episode contestants Laura, Emelia and Khanh had to create a ‘fine dining dish’ that represented a particular country.

Jock thought Asian food didn’t lend itself to “fine dining.” Photo: Channel Ten

Given his Vietnamese heritage Khanh Ong naturally chose Vietnam, but Jock thought Asian food didn’t lend itself to “fine dining.”

Adam Liaw, MasterChef season two winner, called Jock out on Twitter, with plenty of other viewers also slamming the “patronising” comment.

“Asian cuisines are full of fine dining. Kaiseki, Confucian cuisine, Thai/Vietnamese court cuisine, almost any regional cuisine in China, Peranakan food... It's just that the Eurocentric conceptualisation of Michelin, World's 50 Best etc. constantly ignores it,” Adam wrote.

Season two winner Adam Liaw has called out Jock's comment. Photo: Getty

“Doesn't Tokyo have the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants, though? Or don't they serve Japanese cuisine?” another person asked.

While a third said: “Who could doubt the existence of fine dining in Asian cuisine? The most exquisite ‘I can still taste it’ food experiences of my life have been in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore.”

MasterChef judge applauds 'groundbreaking' moment

The controversial comment comes after fellow MasterChef judge Melissa Leong praised the show’s diversity on Instagram.

Posting an image of the five contestants fighting for immunity last night, the acclaimed food critic wrote on Instagram: “This image is groundbreaking.”

“Diversity and representation does not come at the detriment of others, it is for the inclusivity of us all,” she wrote.⁣⁣

“I am proud to be Australian. To be part of a nation whose identity is indigenous and multicultural, we are richer because of ancient and recent.⁣⁣”

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