MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 27: Seasoning Seline van der Wat’s downfall! Kamini Pather and Leandri van der Wat Top Two!


MasterChef 2 27 Kamini and Seline Whale Cottage PorfolioAfter a traumatic week in episodes 25 and 26, Kamini Pather made a strong come back in episode 27 last night, leaving all her emotions at home, and focusing on the task at hand.  Seline van der Wat was rattled a number of times, mainly by her fall, which led to her downfall.

The episode started with Leandri van der Wat arriving at the Tsogo Sun 54 on Bath hotel in Johannesburg, her prize for winning the cook-out in episode 26 – not only did she win the trip to Johannesburg, but she also won a chef’s jacket with the privilege of making it straight into the Finale.  The table she was seated at at the hotel was set for four, and she was delighted when her father, her youngest sister, and her MatserChef 2 27 Leandri father and sister Whale Cottage Portfoliobest friend surprised her by joining her for dinner.  Her father was clearly proud of his daughter, wiping away his tears as he made a speech in her honour, and especially when he handed her a cross which belonged to her late mother as a symbol of good luck. He also gave her a bunch of yellow roses, the favourite colour and flower of her mother.  Leandri said that she wasdaddy’s girl’.  Her family brought along a gift for her wrapped in aMatsrChef 2 27 Leandri jacket Whale Cottage Portfolio big box, which was the chef’s jacket with her name embroidered on it for tonight’s Finale, which she proudly held up high.  Leandri said that she wants to do her family and herself proud.  Arriving back at Nederburg, she watched the cook-off from the mezzanine level, her agony and joy in Seline’s performance being clear to see.  She wanted nothing better than to cook against Seline in the Finale, she told Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, and would be happy to share the prize money and the holiday in the Seychelles with Seline, she said.

Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen was the celebrity chef, and he was MasterChef 2 27 Luke outside restaurant Whale Cottage Portfoliointroduced as 2011 Eat Out Chef of the Year, and The Test Kitchen Eat Out Top Restaurant in 2012.  He had also taken his previous restaurant La Colombe to 12th position in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.  Chef Luke said that cooking is a lifestyle, and not a job, and is what makes him happy.  He wants the food that he serves to evoke thought, and to create a happy memory that his patrons will still talk about the next day.

MasterChef 2 27 Pan-seared sweetbread Whale Cotatge PortfolioChef Luke brought along a complicated sounding dish, which was inspired by his time in the Far East, being pan-seared sweetbreads glazed in morel jus, duck liver chawanmushi (a milk-free Japanese custard), pickled shimeji mushrooms, slow cooked onions, and an onion soubise foam.  The sweetbreads and onions were fully vacuumed and placed in the sous-vide water bath at 85° C for an hour.  Sweetbreads were described as part of offal, being the thymus or pancreas of calf or lamb.  Chef Luke did the count down, and said to both Finalists: ‘I know you can do it’!  Chef Pete said it would be a tight race.  Chef Luke said that all elements had to be cooked well, the jus had to be thick enough, and the custard had to set, for the dish to be successful.  Kamini and Seline were given 1 hour 45 minutes to complete the dish, having to make four portions each.  Chef Luke gave hints to both Finalists during their preparation, telling both to take the foam off the custards before steaming them.

Seline said that the first prize would be to win the challenge and to cook against her sister. She expressed her reservations about using new equipment in the challenge,MasterChef 2 27 Seline van der Wat Whale Cottage Portfolio for the sous-vide preparation. She said that she was happy that her sister was watching her closely from above.  Her soubise split because she did not pay attention to it, so she made another, losing valuable time. She was freaking out a little she said, and seemed rattled when she slipped and fell whilst fetching her sweetbreads, ‘trying not to freak out’.  She went to check the elements on Chef Luke’s plate again, for size and presentation.  When she had completed her dish in the last minute, she said in tears that she is ‘capable of more than I believe’.   She told the judges that five more minutes would have made a difference, having calmed down before presenting to them.  Chef Luke said her dish looked good, all the elements being there except the porcini powder.  Chef Andrew Atkinson also noted that the jus was missing.  Chef Luke said that the flavours were good, it was ‘a fine effort’, and that he ‘would be very proud of myself’ had he served such a dish.  Chef Benny Masekwameng liked the crisp exterior of the sweetbreads and the softness inside, but found that she had forgotten to season the onion soubise.  Chef Pete praised Seline as if she was leaving, the final outcome not having been announced at that stage, saying that she had done a fantastic job, liking her earthy mushrooms and meaty sweetbreads, just a little seasoning missing.

Kamini started with her sweetbreads, and said to the camera that she would not be sad to go home last night, having cooked for Chef Luke.  She spoke about her time management, which had been a weakness in both episodes last week, and that she had it under control.  She said that ‘Eye of the Tiger’ was the song playing in her head.  She looked at the chef’s jacket hanging in the kitchen, and claimed it as hers! She said that she was focused and would not be making the same mistakes twice. She said that she had a huge sense of accomplishment when she had completed the dish, even having made nine custards, wanting them all to be perfect.  Her dishes were praised by Chef Luke, in that ‘she did very well’, her dishes were nicely presented, it was ‘an exceptionally good effort’, and that he was ‘very impressed’.   He did feel that her onions and mushrooms were a ‘little too rustic’. But the flavours all pulled together, he said. Chef Benny said that the custard was smooth, and that he was happy to see that her ‘mojo was back’. Chef Andrew loved the custard taste, but said that there was too little custard and the onions were too big.

MasterChef 2 27 Chef Luke Dale-Roberts Whale Cottage PortfolioIn saying farewell to both Finalists, Chef Luke said that they ‘rose to the occasion and exceeded expectations’. He also said that he would be proud to have served both Finalists’ dishes in The Test Kitchen.  Both Finalists made errors and their dishes had weaknesses, and the judges admitted that this was the most difficult elimination decision which they had experienced.  In the end they announced that Kamini was going into the Finale against Leandri tonight.  Seline cried out of happiness, proud of being Top Three, having had the ‘best time’ on MasterChef, having learnt to trust her instincts, and realising that nothing is out of reach.  For the first time Kamini showed some MasterChef 2 27 Leandri and Kamini Whale Cottage Portfolioemotion, almost hysterical in laughing in happiness in  having made Top Two!   Addressing Leandri and Kamini, Chef Luke advised them to ‘cook from your heart’, and to enjoy the once in a lifetime experience.

The Kamini controversy continues, with a huge outcry over Kamini having been allowed to go through, despite two poor performances last week, the popular vote now clearly being for Leandri. The question is asked how Kamini could accept the prize, if she wins tonight, knowing that she does not deserve it.  Even worse is the information that Kamini has won MasterChef SA Season 2, Tsogo Sun posters with Kamini in them already posted at the Gautrain stations.  We have also noted that a recent dinner at a Tsogo Sun hotel in Cape Town was attended by Kamini (and Chef Benny) but not by Jason Steel, who was still a (Cape Town based) Finalist at that time! On Twitter Arnold Tanzer, Culinary Producer of MasterChef SA, wrote last night that if the outcome is ‘rigged’, as claimed by numerous viewers, then Seline would have won last night!

For an overview of what is lying ahead for the rest of Season 2 read here. For behind the scenes information on the filming of Season 2 in January read here.  For an overview of episode 1 of Season 2 read here. For an overview of episode 2 of Season 2 read here, for episode 3 read herefor episode 4 here, episode 5 here,  episode 6 here,  episode 7 episode 8episode 9, and episode 10,  episode 11,  episode 12 episode 13,  episode 14, episode 15, episode 16episode 17, episode 18 episode 19, episode 20,episode 21 episode 22, episode 23episode 24, and episode 25and episode 26 read here.  Enter our competition to predict which Finalist will win MasterChef SA Season 2.

MasterChef SA, Season 2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 19h30 – 20h30.  Twitter: @MasterChef_SA.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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