After chickening out in episode 7, six of the fifteen Finalists had to go into the Pressure Test, one of them having to go home, being Tumi Moche, probably a hard choice for the judges, as the Bouillabaisse that the bottom three had to prepare was praised by them. Herman Cloete enjoyed his plating MasterClass at Restaurant Mosaic.
The Test episode started with a cheese tasting, four Woolworths cheeses presented to each of the six Finalists, to be looked at, smelt, and tasted. Leandri van der Wat was devastated, as she had already shared in the previous episode that she hates cheese, and never cooks with it nor eats it. They were given cottage cheese, gorgonzola, feta, and camembert to taste and identify. Amanda Beck, Mary Martin, and Sanet Labuschagne were released from the Pressure Test in getting most of the cheeses correct, leaving Tumi, and the sisters Leandre and Seline van der Wat, to go into the Pressure Test.
Herman flew to Johannesburg and drove with the VW Golf 7, the car to be won by the Season 2 winner, to The Orient Boutique Hotel near Hartebeespoort, where Chef Chantel Dartnall has her Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Mosaic. She welcomed Herman, who had won the MasterClass for preparing the best dish in episode 7. She told him that they specialise in Botanic Cuisine. She showed him a number of plated dishes, but focused on one plated dish which Herman replicated, which she calls ‘By the Seaside’. She uses ‘natural vessels’ like sea shells for this dish, and presents the food at different heights, using glass too to allow one to see the content, adding to the different colours and textures on the plate. Herman was overwhelmed by the experience, saying that his electrician’s fingers struggle to plate the elements daintily. He said it was the first time that he tasted fine dining food.
Tumi, Seline and Leandre were given the challenge of preparing Bouillabaisse, Chef Benny Masekwameng’s favourite, consisting of squid heads, calamari, mussels, and hake, and vegetables including leek, potato, celery and tomatoes. It is a classic French dish known the world over, and comes from Marseille. There was no recipe, and the Finalists had to judge its ingredients from the taste, and only had 5 minutes to get them from the Pantry, and one hour to prepare the dish.
None of the three Finalists had made Bouillabaisse before, and very few had cooked shellfish. Seline decided to stick to the basics, looking to find balance in her dish. She was concerned about her stock not being dark enough. She allowed different cooking times for the different fish types, and forgot to add the calamari, deciding to not add it to her dish with only 15 minutes of cooking time left, not wanting to agitate the judges and make them eat an ‘eraser‘, she said. Chef Pete Goffe-Wood said that the colour of the broth was not rich enough, but that its taste was rich. He added that she had done an excellent job, and that she is comfortable in the middle ground of cooking, huge praise given how uncertain she was about her dish. Chef Andrew Atkinson said that the first mouthful had a strong intense taste, but came together when tasting it with the other elements. Chef Benny said it had all come together. Tumi said he is not a fish man, having last eaten it at the age of seven, when he had a fishbone stuck in his throat. He realised that he had forgotten to take calamari tubes from the Pantry. Close to losing hope, Chef Andrew reminded him of how well he prepared his Seafood Fettuccine at the Hot Audition, which perked him up. He felt that his dish was close to that of the judges, but was not precisely the same. Chef Pete almost had a heart attack when he saw Tumi add soy sauce to his broth, to darken it. He also said that the hake did not have to be scaled, and that Tumi was losing time. He was praised for having given his ‘heart and soul’ to the dish, working like ‘a man possessed‘, said Chef Pete. Chef Andrew said it was cooked perfectly, while Chef Benny said it had the correct seasoning and colour. Leandri seemed confident all the way, poaching her fish elements. Chef Pete liked her depth of flavour, saying it was ‘delicious‘, and was better than that prepared by the judges! Chef Andrew added that the broth was full of body and flavour, while Chef Benny said it was a surprise that she had never prepared seafood before, her dish being light and full of flavour.
As both Tumi and Seline had left out the calamari from their dishes, one of them was likely to be eliminated. Seline said it is ‘time to grow and hopefully not time to go‘. The judges praised the three Finalists for having done a magnificent job. It was Tumi who was eliminated, and Chef Pete said he was leaving on a high note. Tumi praised himself for having come out a better person than when he arrived. Leandri was delighted to keep her sister for at least another day, the two hugging each other. Seline decided to be herself, and give it her all from now onwards. Interesting is that the next episode (number 9) on Tuesday will have food blogger judges (including Ishay Govender and Sam Linsell) evaluating team challenges, filmed at Maiden’s Cove in Camps Bay.
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 here, for episode 4 here, episode 5 here, episode 6 here, and episode 7 here. Enter our competitions, to predict the Finalist who will be eliminated in the next Pressure Test, and which Finalist will win MasterChef SA Season 2.
MasterChef SA Season 2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 19h30 – 20h30. www.masterchefsa.dstv.co Twitter: @MasterChef_SA.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage