Tag Archives: pressure test

MasterChef SA Celebrity Chef: making dough for charity with Ubuntu!

MasterChef SA Celebrity full teamLast night I saw the first episode of MasterChef SA Celebrity Chef, being episode 2.  I missed out on episode 1 due to loadshedding on Sunday a week ago.   It seemed a disorganised mess, the celebrities clearly not being well-endowed with cooking skills, and they came across as being really silly.

Chef Benny Masekwameng introduced the episode with the concept of Ubuntu, to symbolise the spirit of teamwork and togetherness.  Celeb Tol A$$ Mo headed up the Red Team, and chose four other team members: TV presenter Lorna Maseko, singer Patricia Lewis, model Lerato Moloi, and comedian Chris Forrest.  Actor Terence Bridgett was the leader of the Blue Team, and chose photographer Merwelene van der Merwe, radio presenter Alex Jay, TV presenter Sade Giliberti, and Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 8: MasterRobertsons dominates, Refilwe Tselanyane spiced out!

MasterChef 3 8 Three Judges and RobertsonsCan Robertsons be any more dominant in MasterChef SA than in last night’s episode 8?  We have renamed MasterChef SA MasterRobertsons, as the hard sell of the spice brand in this Season 3 is becoming laughable!  One wonders how judges Benny Masekwameng and Pete Goffe-Wood (note his grumpy look in the M-Net publicity shot) must feel to have to push the brand, not an issue which Reuben Robertsons Riffel loses any sleep about, having cashed in on the spice brand for the past three years, thereby losing any credibility he may have previously had as a chef!

The episode started with the Blue Team, which lost the Team Challenge in episode 7.  Filmed on an interesting looking bridge in Umhlanga, directly at the ocean, the five Finalists Penny Fitchet, Refilwe Tselanyane, Roxi Wardman, Francois Zietsman, and Sipho Mdlankomo watching as Chef Benny was wheeled onto the bridge in a rickshaw, clutching a cloche, which he ceremoniously opened to reveal a Bean Curry Bunny Chow.  On the table surrounding the typical Durban dish was a collection of about 20 Robertsons spices and herbs, each MasterChef 3 8 Bean curry Bunny Chow MasterChefcovering a board with a black or a white sticker.  The task of the five Finalists was to each identify one of 15 spices and herbs in the BunnyMasterChef 3 8 Blue Team Whale Cottage Chow, just from tasting it.  The Finalists each drew a wooden cooking spoon with a number on it, to determine the order in which they had to identify the ingredients.  The Robertsons collection stood on a table with the ultimate kitsch tablecloth, in a bright orange, looking like rosettes.  Riffel clearly did not take History at school, confusing the role of Durban and Cape Town in linking our country to the East!

It was said by Riffel that the pressure would be on Roxi to identify the spices Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 6: Meeting ‘Karoo Kitchen’ writer Syddah Essop; Ndumiso Mncwabe fired out of Pressure Test!

MasterChef 3 5 Eleven finalistsLast night’s MasterChef consisted of two parts – a happy team of eight Finalists driven to the home in the Karoo of cookbook writer Syddah Essop, and a nervous looking team of three Finalists who had to cook in the Pressure Test without electricity, which saw Ndumiso Mncwabe leaving the MasterChef SA kitchen.

The team met Syddah Essop, writer of ‘Karoo Kitchen‘, and she shared her knowledge about Karoo Cuisine with the Finalists.  Syddah grew up in Beaufort West, in the heart of the Karoo.  She traveled from farm to farm in the area with her father, who sought to protect the rights of farmers.  In this way she learnt a lot about the Karoo locals and their food.   It took her three years to compile ‘Karoo Kitchen’, as a salute to the culture and heritage of the Karoo.   The cookbook contains a diversity of local dishes, including standards such as melktert, rusks, Karoo lamb, and even sheep’s head!  The cookbook has received acclaim for documenting the Karoo cooking culture and heritage.  Syddah prepared a table full of Karoo delights for the Finalists. Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 4: Roxi Wardman stars in Dublin, Phila Vilakazi ducks out in Pressure Test, changes to MasterRobertsons! (updated)

MatserChef 3 4 Roxi and Chef Kevin ThorntonFor the first time in the history of MasterChef SA a contestant was flown to another country alone, for winning best dish.  Roxi Wardman made the best Proudly South African Mystery Box dish in episode 3, her butternut and peanut butter tart winning her the trip of a lifetime to eat at 2 Michelin star restaurant Thornton’s in Dublin.  Phila Vilakazi was the first MasterChef SA Season 3 contestant to be sent home. For the first time a MasterChef SA episode contained an off-putting hard-sell punt for its main sponsor Robertsons!

Roxi arrived in a chilly Dublin, at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, where Chef Kevin Thornton spoilt her with an exclusive lunch at Thornton’s, one of the Top 25 restaurants in the world, and one of the top 10 for special occasions.  Chef Kevin’MasterChef SA 3 4 Kevin THronton Whale Cottages philosophy is that ‘food is about life.  There are so many people starving in the world and then we have all this stuff to play with, so it’s very important that you have a huge amount of respect for it’, he told Roxi.  He added: ‘If I was to describe our food, I would say it’s a natural energy based food so it’s all about natural energy’.   Roxi was impressed with Chef Kevin’s introduction to his dish, a ‘circle of life‘ story and bringing a pigeon in a nest with pigeon eggs, before he served it in three parts. He explained that they use Eireyu beef, reared on mother’s milk for the first six months, and then on grass and two pints of Guinness, for a month, with massages too. Thornton’s website reflects the food journey of Chef Kevin: ‘His cooking, while Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 3: Proudly South African Masterpiece, Roxi Wardman’s tart jets her off to Dublin!

MasterChef SA 3 3 Roxi Mystery Box Whale CottageIt was the first episode in the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg in episode 3 last night, and it was much easier to follow the action of the twelve finalists, who had to deal with a Proudly South African Mystery Box.  Roxi Wardman was the creator of the winning dish, and jetted off to Ireland, while Phila Vilakazi, Ndumiso Mncwabe, and Melissa Sutherland were in the bottom three, their dishes putting them into the Pressure Test next week in episode 4.

The brief to the twelve finalists was to use any of the ingredients in the Mystery Box, which were only revealed after the first commercial break, keeping the tension high.  The Mystery Box included South African favourites such as Masterchef SA 3 3 SA products 2 Ouma rusks, Pecks Anchovette paste, Oros, spinach, butternut, Colman’s mustard, Lucky Star pilchards, ostrich, Cremora, Illovo golden syrup, Black Cat peanut butter, flour, chocolate, Maltabella, Mrs Balls chutney, Melrose cheese, and more, collectively described as creating ‘nostalgic foods and memories’. The use of Nederburg Winemakers Reserve Pinotage was mandatory.  Chef Pete Goffe-Wood told the finalists that Pinotage is a cultivar unique to South Africa. The time limit to create a ‘South African Masterpiece’ was set at 45 minutes.

As each finalist spoke to the camera, to share what dish would be prepared, we got to know a little more Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 28: Finale sees Kamini Pather controversially crowned winner by a ‘fraction’!

MasterChef 2 28 Kamini and LeandriThere 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 →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 26: Leandri van der Wat scientifically shot into Finale! Ozzy Osman out on ‘flying carpet’! Kamini Pather hangs in there!

MasterChef 2 26 Top 4 Whale Cottage PortfolioThe 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 →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 24: Month-end creation challenge rattles Finalists (and viewers)!

MasterChef 2 24 Five Finalists Whale Cottage PortfolioLast 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 →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 21: Kamini Pather in first Pressure Test, Karen Els won’t forget Ethiopia in the long run!

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 Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 19: Finalists roasted in Coffee Challenge in Addis Ababa!

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.   Continue reading →