We travelled to South Africa’s West Coast to the idyllic fishing village, Paternoster. This town has become a major culinary attraction committed to cooking with sustainable resources from the sea.
Benny introduced Suzi Holtzhausen, owner of Die Gaaitjie Saltwater restaurant
. For this team challenge, the contestants had to draw inspiration from Suzi’s menu and create a seafood platter to serve to the locals. They had only two hours to complete their food.
As the winners of the previous Invention Test, Manisha and Sarel were the team captains for this challenge. Manisha picked Lungi and Sue-Ann to join her in the Blue Team, while Deena and Khaya joined Sarel on the Red Team. And what a bonus - they got to cook on the beach!
The Red Team picked yellowtail, crayfish, prawns and calamari for their platters. Manisha’s Blue Team went for oysters, crayfish, prawns, calamari and trout. Sarel cut his thumb while filleting the yellowtail.
While cooking on the beach is no doubt a beautiful setting – it came with its challenges: the wind was far too strong for the flames of the gas stoves. So it was difficult to get the oil to a perfect temperature for deep-frying some of their seafood products. Oh dear!
Once their seafood platters were served and eaten, Suzi complemented the cooks: “Immense respect was shown to the ingredients, particularly to the degree to which the seafood was cooked. For me, that is the golden rule of cooking fish. So well done for that!” The Blue Team eventually won the challenge with 8 votes to 3.
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen, Deena, Sarel and Khaya went into the Pressure Test. They had to recreate a dish which Andrew and his team won a silver medal for at the 1995 Culinary Olympic Games – a dish that took four years to perfect! It was a brioche encrusted Springbok loin with an asparagus tower filled with a mushroom and leek ragu, a duo-coloured pasta parcel filled with a ricotta and spinach filling, served with a rooibos tea infused béarnaise sauce and a peppadew salsa. The tree contestants got cooking with gusto.
Once the Judges tasted everything, they recapped their feedback. Sarel’s pasta and asparagus tower was perfect, but the béarnaise sauce curdled and the Springbok loin was served rare, but because it is a lean cut of meat it could be overlooked. Deena’s asparagus tower resembled a willow tree, the ragu needed more lift and the Springbok could’ve used a bit more crust. Khaya’s salsa wasn’t cooked in the oven for long enough, the béarnaise sauce split, the pasta was too thick, the asparagus tower faced the wrong way and the taste seemed to be missing from some of the elements on her plate. Her meat, however, was perfectly done.
Unfortunately, Khaya’s MasterChef dream came to an end. She parted with a few words: “I’ve had a great experience here at MasterChef. I could never trade it for anything in the world. There were a lot of highs and very few lows. It has changed me as a person: it has taught me patience, something that my man will be very happy about. No-one can take that away from me.”
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