Elizabeth Haigh's Makan cookbook plagiarism

This would not deter me from eating in her restaurant, after all she still has proven skills.

Not particularly talking about this chef.

Does mean plagiarism in cooking is permitted in restaurants? Imagine a restaurant uses all the signature dishes of other chefs as a selling point, you can advertise this as tribute to chefs, to phrase it nicely.

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Sharon Wee was a virtual unknown in the Singapore culinary circles - I’d seen her cookbook but hadn’t bought one as I already had too many Singapore Nyonya cookbooks! But now, I am going to get a copy! :joy:


This is merely topic-adjacent, but is there a cookbook (or book) you might recommend about Singapore Nyonya cuisine?

Winter will be here in my part of the world before long and I need to have happy reading to make it through.

Actually, there are two Singapore Nyonya cookbooks I’d recommend - one is Daily Nonya Dishes by Lloyd Matthew Tan.
The author, we all called him Matt Tan, is pretty OCD when it comes to cooking, and his very detailed recipes even go down to exact measurements in cutting, say, a cucumber or carrot. His cookbook is very comprehensive, and is a bestseller in Singapore.

The other one is The Peranakan Kitchen by Philip Chia. This is a more concise cookbook, but which has all the essential recipes which constituted Nyonya cuisine.
His recipes are kept simple, but very reliable.


Sadly, I doubt this.

Look at the quiet way the publisher withdrew the book with emails to bookstores.

And @Respectfully_Declined ’s response - that will likely not be a more common reaction than not.

Remember the Alison Roman “”debacle”? She has a newsletter that plenty of people signed up for after that.

The publisher response being quiet / surreptitious is intentional - the people who know / find out may be very upset, but the issue is sidelined / quelled in a short while.

There are plenty of people out there who don’t care - especially when the injured party is relatively unknown vs the offender - and a minority of any sort.

What an issue like this needs for actual consequence to the offender is magnification by mainstream media and the majority population.


Just curious, have you bought Haigh’s book? If yes, would like to know your feelings towards it.

For sure. That PR strategy should work to mitigate damage to reputations.

What I truly hope for: The person(s) whose work has been stolen through plagiarism will benefit in ways that matter to them. For example, some smart publisher or media outlet could offer a deal to Sharon Wee. That would be justice in my view.


Thank you for these cookbook recommendations, Peter! I’ll see if I can find one or both titles in the US. :grinning:

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Just for the sake of my simple easily confused mind, could you please rephrase that for clarity?

If x <> on; So, off?
If x not <> on; So, on?
If x not not <> on; So, off?

I read it as, this is what @Respectfully_Declined thinks, which is probably the majority reaction.

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Yes sorry - I originally must have written “not uncommon” and missed deleting the first “not”


And @Respectfully_Declined ’s response - that will likely be a more common reaction than not.

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:hugs: thanks!

No, I haven’t, and not likely that I would want to buy it now. I would want to get a copy of Sharon Wee’s, though!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2