Image: Charlie Sperring
by Jan-Hendrik Botha
Episode eight brought with it a three-hour team challenge in which our contestants were tasked to honour the integrity and flavour of three indigenous hero ingredients: sorghum, Bambara nuts, and millet.
Well-renowned chef and cookbook author, Mokgadi Itsweng, joined us in the MasterChef SA kitchen. Mokgadi is a plant-based food advocate who loves the environment and is known for reinventing traditional meat-based dishes with a plant-forward passion.
Two teams, one red and the other blue, were allocated, each consisting of six members. During this timed challenge, our contestants had to work together to create dishes that incorporated one of the three main ingredients as the hero ingredient, while still including all three ingredients in their overall meal.
Furthermore, they had to make flatbread with one of the three hero ingredients.
But that wasn’t all! In addition, each team had to choose one extra ingredient from the pantry to make a 25 L pot of soup for Mokgadi’s charity, Ladles of Love, and the beneficiary of their soup.
Though Mokgadi is an advocate for plant-based foods, our contestants had the option of cooking with meat.
In the red team was Tarryn (team leader), Andriette, Dr Harri, Onti, Sims, and Tembisa.
The blue team consisted of Luyanda (team leader), Charmaine, Didi, S'li, Shawn, and Tasmin.
From the get-go, Twitter applauded Tarryn for her leadership skills.
According to Zola, Tarryn always has “a nervous energy”. But this time around, she said Tarryn seemed very calm and in control.
Especially when Andriette had a kitchen breakdown due to her flopped tart.
But her team stepped in and assured her that she wasn’t alone, encouraging her to make lemonade from lemons – in this case, trifle out of tart.
She seemed frustrated at first, but luckily, Dr Harri stepped in and suggested that she deconstruct her flopped tart into a peach cobbler – and she came to the MasterChef SA party [peach cobbler] blazing.
Though her tart flopped, she finally had a smile on her face after the judges’ critique, saying that the team took something that could have been their downfall and made it victorious.
Back at the blue team, Luyanda had a plan up her sleeve – and this plan had a bit of a kick. It seems making fermented beer is this Xhosa girl’s comfort zone – so she put these skills to use and made ice cream from fermented beer.
She dubbed this her some-TING pudding i.e. umqombothi ice cream, sorghum popcorn, date sponge, and salted caramel. At first, Mogadi was concerned, but our judges were fascinated.
But with just under an hour left, she realised that the ice cream maker had “betrayed” her as she noticed her ice cream wasn’t freezing,
She was forced to come up with a last-minute solution: double up and use more ice cream machines to encourage quicker freezing.
And after having us on the tip of our seats, her ice cream was ready to present to the judges – and it definitely hit the mark.
We just loved Justine’s reaction to tasting it for the first time – she wanted more and more, but of course, she had to share.
And Twitterati went wild!
But though the judges felt that the blue team’s pudding was “magical”, S'li’s flatbread fell ...flat.
Our judges applaud the red team for working well as a team, and though they were impressed with both teams’ incorporation of the ingredient, they felt the blue team’s dishes lacked flavour.
No one was sent home, however, in the next episode the blue team will be cooking while the red team observes from the gantry.
Do you have a favourite plant-based dish? Shere it with us on Facebook, Twitter, 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.