Entries tagged with “Karen Els”.


MasterChef 2 21 Yaya Village Whale Cottage PortfolioAfter 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 (more…)

MasterChef 2 19 Ethiopia sign Whale Cottage PortfolioDespite a long tedious recap of last weeks’s episode 18, last night’s episode 19 of MasterChef SA was exciting and something different, being filmed in Ethiopia, a country in which coffee was first discovered, and it was fitting that the cooking in the episode focused on coffee.

The eight Finalists were very excited to see suitcases, and visas and passports to Ethiopia in their house, generating big hugs and lots of excitement.  Sharing some of the tourist attractions of Addis Ababa, the Finalists went inside the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with beautiful interiors.   (more…)

MasterChef 2 18 Tiron and Jackie Whale Cottage PortfolioThe dishes prepared in last night’s episode 18 of MasterChef SA were extreme opposites, from international fine dining cuisine to a hearty local family dish.  No Immunity Pin was won, and likable Joani Mitchell was sent home.

The show started with the cooking duel between Tiron Eloff and Chef Jackie Cameron from Hartford House in the Natal Midlands, which Tiron had won in making the best Coconut dish in Tuesday’s episode 17.    The restaurant is an Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant regular, and Chef Jackie is beautiful, warm, and friendly, and it was a pleasure to meet her at the Eat Out gala dinner in November, sitting at the table with her and her Hartford House colleagues.  Chef Jackie was filmed at the hotel, and she showed off MasterChef 2 18 Jackie Cameron Whale Cottage Portfolioher vegetable garden, supporting locally sourced produce, and her policy is to not overcomplicate dishes.  For the cook-off she had made a Guineafowl dish with coq au vin gnocchi, roasted garlic, garden pea purée, seared mushrooms, oven-crisped Parma ham, and pecerino shavings. For the honour of participating in the cook-off, Tiron was allowed to wear a MasterChef SA jacket with his name on it, and he said that he could get used to wearing it.  He looked very (more…)

MasterChef 2 17 Fruit Whale Cottage PortfolioAn unusual Taste Test, which sounded easier than it was, was the start to episode 17 of MasterChef SA last night, when the nine Finalists were each given a bowl of fruit and some juices to taste and identify.  This led to a Challenge using a fruit, with a winner of the Challenge potentially winning an Immunity Pin, and three Finalists going into the Elimination Test tonight.

We have seen Taste Tests on MasterChef SA before, but never with the Finalists blindfolded.  Once they had identified the fruits on the basis of taste, smell, and touch, they had to hold up the whole fruit from the bowl for the judges to see. An avocado, plum, strawberry juice, grape juice, and red currant were the correct fruits tasted. Ozzie Osman won the taste test, being the last remaining Finalist, having correctly MasterChef 2 17 Ozzy blindfold Whale Cottage Porfolioidentified all five fruits.  The prize was that he was allowed to choose one of three fruits as the core ingredient for the Invention Test, going into the Pantry with Chef Benny Masekwameng to choose between coconuts (whole, desiccated, milk, cream), peaches (fresh, dried, preserved), and figs (dried, fresh, preserved).  He chose coconuts, saying they are part of his culture.  The winner of the Invention Test would go into a cook-off against one of South Africa’s top chefs and should he/she win, an Immunity Pin would be won which would offer immunity (more…)

MasterChef 2 16 Pressure Test Finalists Whale Cottage PortfolioThe Pressure Test that five Red Team MasterChef SA Finalists, who lost the cook out in the Company’s Gardens in Cape Town yesterday, had to go through seemed less stressful and more fun than some of the others the Finalists have been through, in that they could let their creativity shine through.  The winning Blue Team loved their visit to Charly’s Bakery in Cape Town.

The visiting Chef and ‘Bread and Butter’ column food writer for The Times MasterChef 2 16 Chef Andrea Burgener Whale Cottage Portfoliowas Andrea Burgener of The Leopard (no website for her restaurant, it appears) in Melville in Johannesburg,  Chef Pete Goffe-Wood calling her the ‘Queen of Creative Cuisine’, well known for her creative cooking, eclectic and playful dishes created by experimentation, and tasty food.  She presented three of her dishes, to give the Finalists an idea of what her restaurant serves, each dish having a twist on something well known, being ‘far removed from their origins’, she said.  So, for example the steak tartare was presented on a Moroccan theme, and there was a ‘Korean spagbol‘,  and MasterChef 2 16 SpagBol Whale Cottage Portfolioa Gazpacho made with raw ginger.  Textures are important, it was said, and Chef Andrea’s flavours ‘jump out‘.    Chef Andrew MasterChef 2 16 Gazpacho Whale Cottage PortfolioAtkinson provided the brief for the Pressure Test:  the Finalists had to create a dish of their own creation within 60 minutes, thinking out of the box, to be good enough to feature on Chef Andrea’s menu at (more…)

MasterChef 2 15 Table Mountain Olympic chefs Whale Cottage PorfolioWhat a beautiful setting the Company’s Garden and backdrop Table Mountain was to last night’s episode 15 of MasterChef SA, fantastic marketing of Cape Town to the rest of the country’s TV viewers!   The Red and Blue Teams had to prepare a dish reflecting our country’s cultural food heritage, and the scoring was pretty close, or so the viewers thought!

Having won the Best Dairy Dish Challenge in episode 13, Kamini Pather was allowed to choose her team of five for the next challenge, as well as the apron colour,  when the box of aprons was delivered to the Finalists’ house. She chose the colour blue, and the two van der Wat sisters Seline and Leandri, Ozzy Osmond and Jason Steel for her team.  Amanda Beck and Karen Els appeared to be in charge of the Red Team, which consisted of Khumo Twala, Joani Mitchell, and Tiron Eloff too.   The team challenge was to make a dish that would reflect the origin of our country’s culinary heritage dating back to 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck planted the Company’s Garden to serve as a halfway house trading station of fresh foods for ships of the Dutch East India Company travelling between Holland and the Far East.  The South African Culinary Olympic Team, which participated in the Culinary Olympics 2012 in Germany, and returned with 12 medals for our country, was invited as judges.  We recognised Chef Tanja Kruger (more…)

MasterChef Top 12 FinalistsThere are 12 episodes left in the next six weeks of MasterChef SA, and we are down to the Top 10, an amazing accolade for each of the Finalists, and will change their lives forever.  This is the MasterChef SA Season 2 Top 10 Finalist list, with their performance to date:

*   Tiron Eloff :  Into Pressure Test in episode 12, and did reasonably well. Twitter: @TironEloff

*   Karen Els : Top 5 dish in episode 7. Did well in her fish dish in the Pressure Test in episode 10, after not doing well in the Spice Test.  Won best dish in episode 11, and won a MasterClass in ice-cream making at The Creamery. Twitter: @kelsfoodie

*   Khumo Twala : Into Pressure Test in episode 6. Made a perfect hollandaise sauce, and was allowed to join the other Finalists in episode 6.  Top 5 dish in episode 7. Was in the Spice Test in episode 10, but was allowed to join the other Finalists.  Survived the Pressure Test in episode 14, making Chef David Higgs’ macaroons and panna cotta.  Twitter: @Simply_khumski (more…)

MasterChef 2 14 Pressure Test Finalists Whale Cottage PortfolioThe Macaroon, sorbet, and Panna Cotta dessert, which top Chef David Higgs of Five Hundred restaurant at the Saxon Boutique Hotel prepared for the Pressure Test on MasterChef SA’s 14 th episode last night, was a tough one to replicate, and cost two of the Finalists their aprons in the competition, the final 10 being whittled down to the winner in the next six weeks.

Chef David was introduced by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood as one of our country’s top chefs, who was named as Top Chef and Rust en Vrede Top Service and Top Restaurant in Eat Out’s Top 10 Restaurant Awards in 2010.  Chef David introduced his dish, which he said he had made with one of the country’s top pastry chefs, but the name was not mentioned.   He said that dining is more than about food, and preparing food for it can be tricky and technical too.  A chef is more than just someone cooking, he or she is an artist too. His dessert of liquorice macaroon with a litchi sorbet and litchi panna cotta onMasterChef 2 14 Chef David dish Whale Cottage Portfolio black crumble was exquisite in its presentation.  The Finalists were warned to follow the recipe carefully.  A macaroon must be crunchy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside.  It’s all in the timing, he added.   His dish ‘is difficult but not impossible’,  he said.  The five Finalists in the Pressure Test had 2 hours in which to replicate the dish, and Chef Pete made the shock announcement that twoMasterChef 2 14 Chef David Higgs Whale Cottage Portfolio Finalists would be eliminated.  In doing the rounds at the work stations, Chef David had a kind word for each Finalist, telling them to ‘relax’, and to ‘not get carried away‘, i.e. to not be nervous. (more…)

MasterChef 2 13 Finalists Whale Cottage PortfolioEpisode 13 of MasterChef SA last night marked the halfway mark for the reality TV cooking show, and focused on the use of Dairy.  Many panna cotta dishes were made for the Dairy Challenge, which panned out for some, and not so for others.

The episode began with the Finalists discovering that all their dairy products had been removed from the fridge in their house, and they reacted grumpily to not being able to have coffee to wake up with.  Herman Cloete said their mood was ‘scratchy‘.  When they arrived at the MasterChef kitchen, Chef Andrew Atkinson cheekily asked why they looked as if they did not have a good start to the day, knowing full well what had happened at the house.  It was meant to introduce the Invention Test, to test the Finalists’ creativity with the products most commonly found in households, being dairy.  The Pantry had been stocked with milk, cream, cheese, and yoghurts, and the Finalists were challenged to make any dish with dairy, be it a starter or dessert, as long as they got the basics right.  They were given 10 minutes to grab their products in the Pantry, and 60 minutes to prepare their dish. (more…)

MasterChef 2 12 Cloche Whale Cottage PortfolioLast night’s episode 12 kept viewers glued to the screen, as Finalists Sanet Labuschagne, Tiron Eloff, and Jason Steel had to replicate La Mouette Chef Henry Vigar’s dish. Karen Els enjoyed her special MasterClass at The Creamery.

Chef Henry Vigar of La Mouette was the ‘top Cape Town chef‘ viewers were told would be present in the episode, and whose dish they had to replicate.  When Chef Pete Goffe-Wood introduced the chef as being a good friend, that it is his favourite restaurant, and that the chef is from the UK and has a South African wife, and has worked at top UK restaurants, we could not help but think that it was Chef Luke Dale-Roberts from The Test Kitchen and the Pot Luck Club, as the description could have equally applied to him.  As MasterChef 2 12 Chef Henry Whale Cottage PortfolioChef Henry has not made the Eat Out Top 20 list since he opened in Cape Town three years ago, it was a surprise that M-Net overstated his standing, as he is very low key on the Cape Town restaurant scene.  Kamini Pather said that the restaurant is best known for its six course tasting menu.  La Mouette was a favourite of ours when it opened, but we have not been for a long time, due to poor service, even from the owners. Chef Henry’s dish was Salt and pepper prawns, chorizo popcorn, tamarind sauce, and shaved radish on sweetcorn purée. The task was to replicate Chef Henry’s dish exactly and to make four exact portions of it. (more…)