MasterChef Season 3 is slowly coming to an end, with only three more episodes to go. Last night it was clearly winter when episode 15 was shot in the Cape forests, the focus being foraging. It also meant the end for Mel Sutherland, who was sent home due to an unsatisfactory ‘muscle (sic) ceviche with wild garlic panna cotta and squid ink jelly‘!
On arrival at the MasterChef SA Top 5 were told that they would have to find their own ingredients in nature. Chef Pete Goffe-Wood told them: ‘The first part of this challenge you have to find your own ingredients. And you’re going to do it in the way we’ve been doing it for thousands of years – you’re going to go foraging’. The Top 5 were to go out into nature to gather natural ingredients from the forest floor, fynbos fields, and ocean.
The finalists met Roushanna Gray, a professional forager, who collected kelp, seaweed, and mussels on the beach with them. Then she introduced them to a fynbos forest, and the aromatic wild herbs that one can harvest. They also met Gary Goldman, the ‘Mushroom Guru‘, who took the Top 5 Finalists foraging for mushrooms, and explained what to look for in avoiding picking poisonous mushrooms. He showed them pine-rings, excellent to use in venison stew. Porcini mushrooms are abundant in our country, Gary said. Making a mistake with mushrooms can be lethal, Gary said, it taking 4 – 16 hours for one to discover if one has picked the wrong mushrooms, which can lead to kidney or liver transplants! Sipho Mdlankomo said that the foraging outing had changed the way she sees food.
Armed with their foraged ingredients, the finalists had to prepare a dish inspired by foraging. The judges were dressed in wintry outfits, in earthy colours to suit the foraging theme!
Ian Young made a dish of Mussels served in a bed of wrack and fried kelp, in a Wild Herb Broth, but was criticised by Chef Pete for cutting two porcini mushrooms into round slices to serve as garnish. Philippa Robinson made a Mushroom Soup with ice cream and wild herb dumpling. Sipho made a Polenta Lasagne with fried mushrooms and mussels (right). Feedback from Chef Benny Masekwameng was: ‘I wouldn’t have used polenta and the fact that you did shows how confident you are so far in the competition‘. Roxi Wardman served a Wild Mushrom Mille-Feuille with a hazelnut sauce (left), and she and Chef Pete bent their ears to the porcini, imaging hearing it singing! It was named the dish of the day. Mel’s Mussel Ceviche with wild garlic panna cotta and squid ink jelly was criticised by Chef Benny for lacking balance and vision, for being ‘all over the place… it just didn’t come together for you today I’m afraid’.
Next week’s episode 16 will be a two-hour one, and will feature two former MasterChef SA lady chef guests: Pastry Chef Lorraine Meaney of Signal Restaurant at the Cape Grace, and Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français. Two finalists will be eliminated, leaving the Top Two!
For an overview of MasterChef Season 3 read here, and read here too. For a summary of episode 1 of Season 3 at Bootcamp 1 read here, and of episode 2 read here. The summary of episode 3 can be read here. Read about Roxi’s trip to Dublin and Thornton’s Restaurant, and the first Pressure Test in episode 4 here. Read about the Carrot Dessert Invention Test in episode 5 here. The Pressure Test with Swedish Chef Niklas Ekstedt, and visit to Syddah Essop in the Karoo in episode 6 is here. For a summary of episode 7, a Team Challenge in Durban, click here. For the write-up of the episode 8′s Pressure Test between Roxi and Refilwe, and the visit to the Ixopo Retreat by the winning Red Team, click here. Episode 9 was a Chicken MasterPiece Invention Test. Episode 10 was a paired Team Challenge. In episode 11 Ian Young won an Immunity Pin, and Francois Zietsman was sent home. In episode 12 the Finalists visited Mauritius, and Sipho won the dish of the day. In episode 13 Penny Fitchet was sent home, after an Elimination Test against Roxy Wardman. In episode 14 Abigail Mbalo was eliminated in an Elimination Test based on Chef David Higgs’ dish at five hundred.
For the Twitter handles of the Top 12 finalists, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: The weekly WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards, usually posted on Fridays, will be posted on Saturdays until late December, to allow the write-ups of each of the 18 episodes of MasterChef SA Season 3 to be posted the day after the episode.
MasterChef SA Season 3, M-Net. www.masterchefsa.dstv.co.za Twitter: @MasterChef_SA Thursdays at 19h30.