Elizabeth Haigh's Makan pulled from shelves following plagiarism allegations

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Elizabeth Haigh's debut cookbook Makan pulled from shelves following plagiarism allegations New York-based chef Sharon Wee

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Elizabeth Haigh's debut cookbook Makan has been pulled from shelves amid allegations that she plagiarised recipes and personal stories from another Singaporean chef.

Haigh, who runs Borough Market restaurant Mei Mei, released Makan​ earlier this year. 

The book was widely praised, with a BigHospitality ​review​ ​describing it as "a surprisingly accessible affair that balances familiar Asian dishes - including wok-fried noodles, satay, char siu, chicken noodle soup, and sweet and sour pork - with the less so".

However, it has now been revealed that publisher Bloomsbury Absolute has withdrawn the book from circulation after New York-based chef Sharon Wee accused Haigh of copying recipes and other content originally published in her own cookbook, Growing Up in a Nonya Kitchen​, which was first published in 2012.

In a statement posted on Twitter last week​, Wee said:  “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 personalised recipes, interviewed older relatives, 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.”

At the time of writing, Haigh had yet to release a statement on the matter, but all posts across her social media channels promoting Makan​ have been deleted. 

A spokesperson for Bloomsbury told The Bookseller​: “This title has been withdrawn due to rights issues.”

Bloomsbury has also removed all references to Makan from both its social media channels and its website.

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