Mmutsi fell foul of the MasterChef SA Judges (Tue 1 May) following a spectacular Team Challenge on a Navy frigate and an unforgettable Elimination Challenge.
The Top 14 gathered at the South African Naval Base in Simonstown and would have to cook in the galley of the SAS Amatola, taking the crew's nutritional needs into account. And there were a hundred hungry Navy personnel to satisfy! They had just 90 minutes to do this, and after tasting both meals the seamen and women would ring a bell to signify which team they thought did best.
Deena and Thys, winners of the last episode's Curry Challenge, got to choose teams. Deena chose Samantha, Sarel, Jade, Manisha, Brandon and Khaya; Thys went for Sue-Ann, Guy, Ilse, Babalwa, Lungi and Mmutsi (who, because she was picked last, felt people didn't have confidence in her cooking skills).
Tasked with making a protein, veg and starch, Sue-Ann immediately seemed to take the lead for the Red Team, who decided on a lamb in a sticky sauce, crunchy corn, carrots and mange tout, and roast potatoes in an onion and cream sauce. Deena's Blue Team went for simplicity: deep-fried chicken with a salsa, a rustic potato salad and broccoli - and Deena seemed to delegate really well. Thys had the Red Team's girls doing the "detail work" and Sue-Ann and Guy on the "big work": the meat, which would take longest.
After a frantic session in a kitchen where floor space was "at a premium" it was down to the all-important tasting - and "Samantha Fried Chicken" seemed to be the big hit. Deena could almost taste victory for his Blue Team, and as it turned out, the Blue Team's bell was rung more times (after an initial swing to the Red bell).
The Red Team were welcomed back to the MasterChef Kitchen with an Elimination Challenge that they - and none of us! - will ever forget. The seven team members first had to rate their fellow contestants, and were then introduced to the "nose to tail" challenge: cooking parts of pork generally regarded as off-cuts!
The contestants' ratings would decide the order in which they chose the seven cuts of meat. Sue-Ann was ranked top by her fellow competitors and chose the loin; Thys was second and took the belly; Guy took the ear (for a challenge); Babalwa took the trotters; Lungi went for the tail; Ilse was second last and was left with either cheek or shoulder (she took the latter); Mmutsi, ranked last, was left with the cheek.
Again the contestants had 90 minutes to prepare a meal, and although somewhat flummoxed by some unusual ingredients, they started cooking (cue plenty "piggy" puns from the Judges!). During the tasting, Guy's deep fried pork ear proved an adventure too far, and wasn't cooked properly. Babalwa's trotters were brave but good; and Thys's belly was well received. Ilse's didn't look great but was the "hero of the day" for Pete; Mmutsi's pork cheek dim sum wasn't a success; but Lungi's tail was Benny's dinner! Sue-Ann's loin was over-cooked - she "killed it."
The two top dished were Lungi's and Ilse's - Sue-Ann and Mmutsi were the bottom two. But despite Sue-Ann's apprehension, it was Mmutsi who had to hand in her apron and bid the MasterChef SA Kitchen goodbye...
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