In Sunday's first semi-final of My Kitchen Rules SA, best friends from Johannesburg, Kerry and Charnell, became the first team to qualify for the series finale, with a shot at cooking for the R1 Million cash prize! In a nail-biting semi-final against fiances Brent and Andrew, the ladies out-cooked their fellow Johannesburg-based competitors in a spectacular three-course challenge for judges David Higgs and J’Something, as well as a panel of celebrity guest judges comprising Reuben Riffel, Vanessa Marx, Karen Dudley and Lentswe Bhengu.
The ladies created a winning three course menu for the panel of six judges, starting with roasted beetroot, pickled beetroot, a goat’s cheese mousse and grilled goat’s cheese with a horseradish dressing – two simple ingredients made two different ways, which the judges loved. “You took me to beetroot heaven,” Chef Lentswe raved. Following their theme of taking one ingredient and presenting it in two ways, Charnell and Kerry created a main dish of pan-seared duck breast with a cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower and a red wine jus, which the judges all agreed was “really, really great.” Finishing their offering was a delicious espresso panna cotta with “flavours of Tiramisu”.
From the outset, Brent and Andrew’s offering fell short of the mark, with their starter of deep fried camembert on walnuts and an apple puree being too unbalanced for the judges, who were blind tasting all of the culinary creations. When it came to their main meal judges David Higgs and J’Something were immediately concerned that Brent and Andrew had left too little time to cook their potatoes for their dish of deconstructed Beef Wellington, however, by the time it came to the tasting, guest judge Lentswe Bhengu noted how delicious their potatoes were.
The teams were neck-and-neck going into the dessert phase of the challenge, and Brent and Andrew’s chocolate fondant with chili nut ice-cream left everyone on the edge of their seats due to the time pressure in which to create the dish. With only seconds to spare, the guys managed to pull off this ambitious dessert, which received a glowing 10 out of 10 from all of the judges. Meanwhile, Charnell and Kerry’s dessert also raised some flags due to the fact that it wasn’t as technically challenging as Brent and Andrew’s offering, but again, they impressed. “I absolutely loved that dessert and all of its textures and flavours,” Chef Vanessa Marx complimented the friends.
In the end, Charnell and Kerry’s three courses were the undisputed winners of the day, according to all of the judges. The panel of experts scored Brent and Andrew a total of 38 out of 60 points while Kerry and Charnell received a whopping 44 points out of 60, cementing their spot in the grand finale.
Next week will see mother and daughter duo Lani and Louzel from Cradock battle it out against Bloemfontein husband and wife Jamandi and Machiel, but which team of home cooks will square up against Charnell and Kerry for R1 Million?
My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/mkr to watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants, meet the new group of five couples and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.