The Top 18 contestants got to cook in the MasterChef SA Kitchen for the first time on Tuesday (10 Apr), but it wasn’t an awesome experience for all of them.
Following the season’s first two Challenges – a Mystery Box with a twist and a Pressure Test – and in another twist, two contenders had to hand in their aprons. They were Fortune and Charles.
Episode 4 began with a brand new and stylish opening title sequence, which features the Top 18 and a lot of food being flung around, in slow motion, and to the sound of Katy Perry’s smash hit, “Hot n Cold”!
The Top 18 were then ushered into the MasterChef SA Kitchen on the Nederburg Wine Estate in the mountains of Paarl. “Beautiful” and “kick ass: a rock ‘n’ roll kitchen” were some of the more memorable reactions. The “wow” fully-stocked pantry also contained Nederburg wines, a Robertsons spice rack and Woolworths produce.
Then it was down to the first Challenge of the season: a Mystery Box containing “something they’d never cooked with before…” Upon lifting the boxes the contestants were greeted by pictures of themselves from childhood, and there was much mirth and merriment!
The Challenge would be to cook something from the beginnings of their culinary journey – a meal that reminded them of childhood – and they had an hour and free access to the pantry to achieve it. The five worst would cook in the Pressure Test; the two best would be captains in an upcoming team challenge.
And then they were off to the abundantly-stocked pantry – “a supermarket where you don’t have to pay for anything,” according to Guy - and the first cook-off was under way! Sunday lunches, croquettes and an avo ritz were all being prepared, but there were concerns for Berdina, whose tart base cracked. The Judges however were concerned about the contestants’ grasp of the 60-minute time limit, and in particular were worried about Samantha’s time-management.
This turned out to be unfounded: Samantha’s croquettes were a hit, and she was announced as the winner of the series’ first Mystery Box. Khaya’s salmon, with its array of flavours, also impressed, as did Jade’s interpretation of the “super kitsch” avo ritz. Manisha’s chicken three-ways earned her the second best dish mantle and a team captaincy.
Get the best recipes from the Childhood Memory Challenge here
Less impressive were Fortune, whose meat was rare; Berdina, who failed to get around to making her meringue; Mmutsi, who ran out of time and didn’t deliver her promised ‘vetkoek’ or cook her stew properly; Lwazi, whose ‘seven colours’ was underwhelming; and Charles, whose bangers and mash was too simple. These five contestants ended up in the debut MasterChef SA Pressure Test.
In that first Pressure Test they’d have to recreate two South African classics: the ‘koekister’ and ‘koesiester’ – and they had 75 minutes to recreate these similar but somewhat different (and very difficult) dishes.
In the final reckoning, Fortune’s efforts didn’t measure up (she forgot to put baking powder in her mixture) and she was the first contestant evicted from the MasterChef Kitchen. But there was a twist: two would be going home in this first Pressure Test. And while Lwazi survived, Charles had to hand in his apron…
An amazing end to a super first jaunt in the awesome MasterChef SA Kitchen – what did you think?
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