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 Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended a section of the Kfm Breakfast Show broadcast, as a member of the studio-audience, to welcome MasterChef Australia judge Matt Preston, who is visiting Cape Town. Preston praised Cape Town for being ‘an amazing city‘, having eaten at eight restaurants alone on Tuesday.
Even though I had hardly seen any MasterChef Australia episodes, I applied to Kfm to attend the visit to the studio by the almost 2 meter tall Preston, after Blogger Anel Potgieter raved about meeting him at the Good Food & Wine Show in Johannesburg over the weekend. We were part of a studio audience of at least 30 at the Primedia Broadcasting studios in Green Point, the majority of the attendees being serious MasterChef Australia fans. We were offered coffee and breakfast snacks such as fruit salad and cream, as well as salmon sandwiches, not quite MasterChef quality!
Presenter Ryan O’Connor invited us to sit down, coming into the live studio with Preston as well as Chef and MasterChef SA judge Pete Goffe-Wood, as well as the rest of the Breakfast Show team consisting of sport presenter Sibongile Mafu, traffic presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen, and surf reporter Deon Bing. Deon had made a toasted cheese Continue reading →
What a surprise to read on Friday that Reuben Robertsons Riffel is to replace Chef Andrew Atkinson as a MasterChef SA judge in Season 3, which is to be filmed shortly. It raises the question as to the role of Robertsons, already the headline sponsor of the reality TV cooking programme, and whether Riffel will continue his endorsement of the bottled herb and spice brand, which would then be a conflict of interest!
Riffel became the Robertsons spokesperson two years ago when MasterChef SA was first flighted, and lost all credibility in selling his soul to Unilever in endorsing Robertsons, and Rama margarine on the side! As Riffel has publicly declared that he only uses Robertsons spices and herbs in his home, and not in any of his restaurants, he already has no credibility. Recently Unilever tried to mislead chefs and restaurants by presenting a media release, which made the unsubstantiated claim that an increasing number of chefs are using bottled herbs and spices!
In the past two years serious chefs have distanced themselves from Riffel, laughing behind his back in him being so stupid to associate himself with a bottled herb brand, when it is completely contra the trend to using fresh Continue reading →
There should have been no winner of MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 28 and the Finale of this reality TV cooking show last night, with both contestants making unforgivable mistakes in what was meant to be the pinnacle of the cooking competition! As a winner had to be chosen, the judges announced Kamini Pather as the winner, beating Leandri van der Wat by a ‘fraction’ of 6 out of 100 points.
The episode commenced with a very quick overview of the previous 27 episodes, highlighting Kamini’s near perfect past in being ‘top of the class’ (was this a predictor already?), and Leandri’s growth and top praise she received from Chef Prue Leith in particular. The two Finalists arrived at the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg on a very rainy day, and were surprised to find all fourteen the other MasterChef SA Finalists there, as well as their families. Kamini’s mother Anthea and brother Neelan were present, as well as Leandri’s (and Seline’s) father Neil, aunt (her ‘second mother‘ Leandri said) and sister Nadine. Chef Pete Goffe-Wood said that it was the biggest Continue reading →
The viewers’ blood is boiling, in that Finalist Kamini Pather was given a second chance two nights running in episodes 25 and 26, to hang in at MasterChef SA, given that she clearly was the weakest performer in both the episodes. The episode was an exciting one, however, showing the diversity of the Finalists in being able to recreate something as difficult as Chef Richard Carstens’ Chocolate Handkerchief dish, consisting of eleven elements.
The Final Four were given black aprons on arriving at the MasterChef SA kitchen, being in a Pressure Test, without deserving it as such. They noticed technical equipment they had never seen before on their workstations, including gloves, goggles, palette knives, and nitrogen guns. They also noticed an unnamed white jacket hanging in the kitchen. They were told that the judges were turning up the heat, and that they would face the toughest challenge. The winner would go directly into Wednesday’s Finale, while the person preparing the weakest dish would be eliminated.
Seline van der Watt reacted by saying that she would ‘put all on the line today and go for it’. Ozzy Osman said cleverly that he would rather have the jacket than have to fight over it later in the series. Leandri van der Wat said practically ‘Let’s cook’, looking forward to the challenge! Kamini said that she felt calmer, after losing her nerves in episode 25, when her Lemon Meringue Gâteau was less than perfect, and she cried Continue reading →
Described as cool and aloof by viewers, Kamini Pather showed some emotion and her first tears in the 25th episode of MasterChef SA last night, frustrated in her efforts to bake a Lemon Meringue Gâteau, the focus of much of the episode. Being the darling of viewers and tipped to win Season 2 of MasterChef SA, it was a surprise that viewers reacted with such vitriol against her performance at the end of the episode last night.
While Ozzy Osman was on his way to Gansbaai as a guest of Dyer Island Conservation Trust for having created the best month-end dish, the three Finalists who had to go into the Pressure Test as a result of their poor month-end ‘cuisine’ in episode 24 were only supported by Leandri van der Wat, watching her sister Seline, Kamini, and Jason Steel bake up a sweat in what was billed as the ‘most daunting Pressure Test‘ in the series. Chef Benny Masekwameng warned. It would test their limits, in replicating the ‘work of art and masterpiece‘ of invited guest Chef Kelvin Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 24 seemed far too basic a challenge for the Top 5 Finalists of Season 2, and gave a new perspective on the cooking contestants, the unusualness of the challenge rattling them, and it was a surprise to see how some of the strong ones lost their focus, made mistakes, and will pay the price in a Pressure Test in episode 25 next week.
The challenge was unusual in that the Pantry was the Mystery Box, the Finalists having 60 minutes in which to prepare a dish from what was available to them, 8 minutes being deducted for the briefing. Each of the Finalists had a SMEG fridge with an odd collection of ingredients resembling left-overs, there being very few things in each, as well as some dry ingredients, including eggs, sugar, bacon, olives, gherkins, cake flour, Cornflakes, pasta, sardines, pilchards, tuna, cheese, tomatoes, maple syrup, and more. The Finalists were to replicate a typical month-end scenario, prior to pay day, and one having friends arrive unannounced for whom one prepared a dish with what is available. The judges wanted Continue reading →
Last night Leandri van der Wat was the star of episode 23, highly praised by Chef Prue Leith, an icon of South African cooking and a Michelin star and multi-award winning chef in the United Kingdom.
Having returned to the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg after three episodes were based in Ethiopia and one in Johannesburg, the six Finalists were invited to join ‘culinary royalty‘ and ‘living legend’ Prue Leith and the three judges Benny Masekwameng, Pete Goffe-Wood, and Andrew Atkinson to enjoy a South African ‘tee en koek’, which included melktert, koeksisters, and vetkoek with mince. Chef Prue was introduced as having two cooking academies, one of them being the Prue Leith Academy in Pretoria; a catering company; a Michelin star restaurant; cooking shows on television; cookbook writer, of which one is a ‘cookery bible‘; and recipient of the Member and later Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was born and bred in South Africa, but has lived in the UK for over 60 years. She said that she serves on the Board of Safeway, Whitbread, and the Orient Express hotel group (which owns the Mount Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 22 of MasterChef SA was a tough one, the Finalists being criticised by both the guests who were invited to evaluate the cooking, and by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood. A surprise was seeing Chef Deena Naidoo, Season 1 winner of MasterChef SA, back on the screen again!
Having returned from Ethiopia, the six Finalists and the judges made a stop in Johannesburg, at the new Chinatown in Cyrildene. The first Chinese came to our country during the gold rush in the 1800’s. Executive Chef Chang an Song from Tsogo Sun, one of the best Asian chefs in the country, Chef Benny Masekwameng said, demonstrated Peking Duck, Continue reading →
After 20 episodes, MasterChef SA Finalist Kamini Pather, believed by many to win Season 2 of the reality TV show, landed in a Pressure Test for the first time, and experienced what each of her fellow Finalists have sweated through more than once .already
The Finalists were still in Ethiopia, and last night’s episode was filmed at the Yaya Village long distance athletics training centre, especially built at high altitude (2700 meters above sea level) for long distance runners to practice for world events, located 11 km outside of Addis Ababa.
The episode (unusual for Season 2, but the norm for Season 1) had a challenge as well as the Pressure Test in the same episode. The challenge was making Ethiopian injera flatbread, which is made from teff flour, and the challenge was to make it perfectly round, and to get it out of the pan and onto a grass mat, and then to roll it. Contestants were Continue reading →