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Twitter buzzes over spilt honey – MasterChef SA

15 March 2022
And what happened next stung.
masterchef sa

Image: Charlie Sperring

by Jan-Hendrik Botha

If episode nine didn’t set the pace for this season, then honey, you need to join us in the MasterChef SA kitchen. It was clear that the mystery box challenge challenged our contestants’ skills. Buzzing around like a swarm of Cape honey bees, our contestants were rushing to incorporate all the elements into their dishes. 

While last week’s winning team, the red team from episode eight, was observing from the gantry, the pressure was on below amongst the blue team. 

Episode nine celebrated South Africa’s diverse range of honey, and as per usual, there were a few twists introduced. Firstly, and before even getting started, our contestants had to take part in a quick mini-challenge.

Up for grabs was an advantage in the so-called “mystery hive challenge”. During the mini-challenge, each contestant was presented with nine honey flavours which they had to identify. Whoever got the highest score would win an advantage. 

Charmaine walked away with the advantage with a winning score of six out of nine. But as an additional twist, contestants had to each draw a frame from the judges’ beehive – each frame represented a different honey flavour, and these had to be incorporated into each contestant’s dish. 

Charmaine drew Cape coastal, Luyanda drew Cape wild blossom, S’li drew boekenhout, Shawn pistachio, Didi orange blossom and Tasmin acacia.

A third twist was also introduced: a mystery box with ten additional ingredients from which each contestant had to choose four, as the pantry was closed for this challenge.

These were bokkoms, freshwater trout, aloe fibre, waterblommetjies, camel milk, leaks, fennel pollen, dark rye flour, long stem carnations and the element of smoke in the form of a hibachi grill. 

The hero ingredient of each dish had to be the flavoured honey chosen and from the onset, Judge Gregory was concerned about our contestants’ ability to cook with honey, saying that “once heated, the distinctive floral taste tends to disappear”. 

And then, unexpectedly, a fourth and final twist was introduced – and it stung: our contestants were instructed last minute to incorporate self-made honeycomb into their dish.

From the gantry, our six observing contestants showed their support. S’li was very clearly unsure about how to make honeycomb and consulted Onti on the gantry. Her advice: “Mix sugar, honey, make a syrup and add bicarb, mix together, gooi it into the thing and make layers."

She made it very clear to S’li not to leave it last.

Furthermore, Tasmin consulted the gantry on using bokkoms in her dish as she had never worked with it before. 

Charmaine, on the other hand, was daunted by the idea of working with fish and decided to start preparing it first. Though it wasn’t compulsory, everyone except Didi used their hibachi grills, and we felt the heat, especially at Charmaine and Tasmin’s stations.

Tasmin’s trout fell apart on the grill. First, her trout’s skin got stuck on the grill, and then her whole fish started breaking apart – basically, according to her, “a flop”.

On the other side of the kitchen at Charmaine’s station, all went up in flames – literally. She too struggled with her trout on the grill, leaving her fish completely charred and overcooked and we just looked away while things started searing online.

And it kept going...

...and going...

...and going to a point of smoky devastation.

Didi, S’li, and Shawn seemed calm and collected while creating art on their stovetops. And though only thirty minutes remained, they seemed in control. Twitter was entertained with Shawn referring to Gregory as “that French guy”. 

Didi being the only one panfrying her fish left an impression online.

And S'li’s calm and collected demeanour kept the audience glued.

Luyanda’s ability to make something magical by using simple ingredients had Twitter tweeting up a storm.

According to Zola, Tasmin plated beautiful dishes before, but this time around, honey let her down as she seemed to have added it as an afterthought.

Tasting Charmaine’s dish, you could see the dismay on Zola’s face: she felt that Charmaine ignored her advantage, while Tasnim felt her fish was overcooked. Her honey flavour was overpowered by the flavour of salty bokkoms, and they all agreed that though the idea behind her dish was great, she didn’t refine it. 

Twitter was convinced that Charmaine was going home. In the kitchen, it was a close call – and even Charmaine thought that she was destined to go home due to her charred dish.

...but ultimately, Tasmin’s “Honey I Shrunk the Fish” left a bad taste in the judges’ mouths and she was sent packing. 

Find out what Tasmin had to say after leaving the MasterChef SA kitchen below: 

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram by using #MasterChefSA. Remember to watch MasterChef SA every Monday to Thursday at 18:00 on M-Net channel 101. In case you missed the latest episode, catch up with DStv using your connected device.