MasterChef SA fans have been waiting in anticipation for their favourite reality TV cooking show to return to their screens, with the first episode of Season 3 starting at 19h30 this evening. A new judge is introduced, and the contestants are said to be of a high standard. M-Net has also announced that its first Season of MasterChef SA Celebrity will stir things up for charity in January.
The M-Net media announcement about Season 3 is full of food clichés and fighting talk about how excellent the programme series is: ‘The contestants are hungry for victory, the Judging panel has been refreshed by the addition of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel, and viewers can look forward to epic culinary triumphs as well as some spectacular gastronomic fails. MasterChef SA Season 3 will showcase unique, seasonal and original ingredients, amazing new destinations and incredible professional guest chefs – both from within our own shores as well as international cooking legends. We’re talking Michelin stars and mouthwatering creations galore’.
From the information provided by M-Net and other media sources to date we know about Season 3 that:
* Chef Andrew Atkinson has been replaced by Reuben Robertsons Pop Up and Pop In Riffel – one wonders whether Riffel remains the Robertsons spokesperson for this Season, it being total overkill and brand dominance if Riffel remains the spokesperson for the brand and is a judge too. M-Net’s publicity misleadingly states about Riffel: ‘He started off at the Monneaux restaurant, establishing it as one of the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa, before moving to Cambridge, UK‘. In fact he was a barman at Chamonix and landed in the kitchen there by default, and it was Chef Richard Carstens, for whom Riffel worked, that took Monneaux restaurant to the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list! Chefs Pete Goffe-Wood and Bennie Masekwameng remain judges.
* The Season 3 episodes will only be broadcast once a week, as per Season 1
* Contestants range in age from 21 year students to a 73 year old gran. Only South African citizens 18 years and older who have not cooked professionally were allowed to enter.
* Sponsors remain Robertsons, Woolworths (we may suffer from marketing overkill by the retailer, being exposed to its sponsorship of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ on Monday evenings too!), VW, Nederburg, and Tsogo Sun.
* We note the scepticism from the comments on the Facebook page of MasterChef SA about the results being rigged for Season 3, as it is believed that the outcome of Season 2 was rigged, with Kamini Pather winning, despite very poor cooking skills towards the end of the series!
* There are 18 episodes, and the Finale will be broadcast on 18 December.
MasterChef SA Celebrity has not been filmed locally before, and we have been told that ten local celebrities will don their MasterChef SA aprons, cooking up a storm to win money for the charity of their choice. The ten celebrities are singer and TV presenter Patricia Lewis, model Lerato Moloi, Top Billing presenter Lorna Maseko, photographer Merwelene van der Merwe, celebrity Tol Ass Mo, actor Terence Bridgett, TV and radio presenter and actress Sade Giliberti, comedian Chris Forrest, model Lunga Shabalala, and Highveld/Kfm weekend presenter Alex Jay.
Food lovers will have busy weekday evenings ahead, with ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ flighted on SABC3 on Mondays at 21h30; ’Chopped South Africa’ on DStv channel 175 on Wednesdays at 21h00; and ‘MasterChef SA‘ Season 3 on M-Net on Thursdays at 19h30.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to MasterChef SA Season 3 being broadcast on Thursday evenings, we will post the episode write-ups on Fridays, and move the Sweet & Sour Service Awards to Saturdays for the duration of MasterChef SA Season 3.
MasterChef SA Season 3, M-Net. www.masterchefsa.dstv.co.za Twitter: @MasterChef_SA Thursdays at 19h30.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage