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MasterChef: Jock Zonfrillo is labelled ‘ignorant and problematic’ over Asian food comment

MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo is labelled ‘ignorant and problematic’ by outraged viewers after saying Asian food ‘doesn’t lend itself to fine dining’

MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo has sparked backlash following his questionable remarks about Asian food on Sunday night’s episode.

When contestant Khanh Ong decided to stay true to his Vietnamese roots for a fine-dining challenge, Jack, 43, controversially said that Asian food ‘doesn’t lend itself to fine dining’.

Outraged viewers of Channel 10’s competitive cooking show flocked to Twitter to label the chef’s comments ‘ignorant and highly problematic’, while others called for the ‘Eurocentric definition of fine dining to be dismantled’.

Controversial: MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo, 43, has sparked backlash following a questionable comment about Asian food on Sunday night’s episode

When given the option to create a fine-dining dish that represented any country, Laura and Emilia chose France, while Khanh went with Vietnam.

However, the choice didn’t go down too well with Jock. 

After the Scottish-born restaurateur gave his verdict on Asian food’s place in fine dining, MasterChef’s season two winner Adam Liaw led the backlash on Twitter.

‘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 tweeted. 

Other viewers followed suit, with one writing: ‘”Asian food doesn’t lend itself to fine dining” – Jock [is an] absolute dinosaur at 43. Sorry you had to listen to such patronising crap, Khanh. I know YOU know that there isn’t an Asian cuisine w/o millennia of exquisite refinement behind it. How ignorant.’ 

When Khanh Ong decided to stay true to his Vietnamese roots to create a fine-dining dish, Jack remarked that Asian food 'didn't lend itself to fine dining'

When Khanh Ong decided to stay true to his Vietnamese roots to create a fine-dining dish, Jack remarked that Asian food ‘didn’t lend itself to fine dining’

'Highly problematic': Following his controversial comment, Masterchef's season two winner Adam Liaw was amongst the first to hit back at Zonfrillo on Twitter

‘Highly problematic’: Following his controversial comment, Masterchef’s season two winner Adam Liaw was amongst the first to hit back at Zonfrillo on Twitter

‘I find it highly problematic that on tonight’s MasterChef, Jock thinks that Asian cuisine and “fine dining” are mutually exclusive and the other judges appear to agree,’ another tweeted.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Channel 10 for further comment.  

Calling out the Eurocentricity of the term ‘fine-dining’, one viewer wrote on Twitter: ‘”Many Asian cuisines don’t normally adapt themselves to fine dining.” Is that because there’s been a particular mindset that has been levelled at non-Western European food, and the ones who have made them fine dining distinctively White?

‘Fine dining Asian food is like that fake accent you come back with after travelling for a week in the UK, US, or Aus. Fine dining is a fake colonial money-making concept.’ 

Others called for the 'Euro-centric definition of fine dining to be dismantled.'

Others called for the ‘Euro-centric definition of fine dining to be dismantled.’

‘Asian food’s inability to be fine dining according to some chefs is like reinforcing stereotypes… It’s more to do with the chef’s inability to understand that kind of food and see how it can be fine dining. A chef who knows Asian food can make it work, 100%.’

Meanwhile, fan favourite Khanh was ultimately eliminated from the competition on Sunday.

The 27-year-old chef was sent home after failing to impress the judges with his quail dish. 

Sent packing: Fan favourite Khanh was ultimately eliminated from the competition on Sunday

Sent packing: Fan favourite Khanh was ultimately eliminated from the competition on Sunday

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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