Bloomsbury withdraws Elizabeth Haigh cookbook, 'Makan' from sale after allegations of plagiarism by Singaporean author Sharon Wee

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

British publisher Bloomsbury Absolute has pulled MasterChef UK contestant Elizabeth Haigh's cookbook, 'Makan,' after New York-based Singaporean Author Sharon Wee revealed that multiple recipes bore an uncanny ressemblance to those in her 2012 book and memoir, 'Growing Up In A Nonya Kitchen.'

The chef and founder of Mei Mei in London, who earned a Michelin star whilst working at Pidgin in 2016, received critical acclaim for her cookbook, including praise from food writer Nigella Lawson. 

Last week, Sharon Wee posted a statement on Instagram explaining that she had alerted Bloomsbury of the incident, and that she was "grateful" that the publisher had taken action. 

The post reads: "My book Growing Up in a Nonya Kitchen, first published in 2012, is both a cookbook and a memoir in which I recreated my mother's personalized recipes, interviewed older relates, researched my Nonya heritage and recounted my family history." 

"I was therefore distressed to discover that certain recipes and other content from my book had been copied or paraphrased without my consent in Makan by Elizabeth Haigh, and I immediately brought this matter to the attention of the book's publisher, Bloomsbury Absolute. I am grateful that Bloomsbury has responded to my concerns by withdrawing Makan from circulation." 

Others have since pointed out similarities in the book, alleging that 'Makan' contains recipes from other authors and cookbooks as well.


Whilst the publisher didn't immediately respond to our email request, a spokesperson told The Washington Post that the title "has been withdrawn due to rights issues." Elizabeth Haigh is yet to issue a statement or respond to our request for comment.


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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 12th October 2021

Bloomsbury withdraws Elizabeth Haigh cookbook, 'Makan' from sale after allegations of plagiarism by Singaporean author Sharon Wee