In tonight’s surprising episode of My Kitchen Rules SA, married couple Bruce and Claudia finally played their cards and showed that they’re the ones to beat in this gruelling competition! After having executed a very strategic game so far, Bruce and Claudia managed to garner a whopping 72 points out of 100 from their fellow competitors and celebrity judges J’Something and David Higgs, displacing Bloem besties Liz and Leanne from their comfortable spot at the top of the leader board.
“We are here to deliver,” Bruce hinted at the start of the show, with Claudia by his side. “The way I see food is similar to martial arts,” Bruce explained. “ It’s all a precise movement. Everything must have a balance: you have sweet and sour, hot and cold, sugar and spice!” Moreover, this ambitious couple revealed that they’ve been practicing three hours a day of cooking ahead of the show, proving that they have their sights firmly set on the finals. In previous weeks the rest of the contestants speculated about the fact that Bruce might have a bland, unadventurous palate, but these suspicions were immediately diminished when Bruce - a world champion martial arts master - revealed his and Claudia’s starter dish: a prawn and pork ravioli with basil butter… and a lot of chillies!
Despite the fact that their eight fellow competitors found the chillies in the dish way too overwhelming, both celebrity judges David Higgs and J’Something felt that they “nailed” their starter, having absolutely loved it. Next up was their main dish of salmon teriyaki with herbed basmati and edamame beans. Of course, Bruce and Claudia had another trick up their sleeves when they turned their basmati into egg fried rice, a subtle nod to Bruce’s Chinese heritage. Liz from Bloemfontein admitted that she’d never tried edamame beans before, while Lani from Cradock couldn’t hide her shock when she discovered egg in her rice! “For me, the egg in the rice was just really weird… Was it supposed to be there? I’ve never had egg in rice before,” she revealed. Despite lacklustre plating, the judges gave Bruce and Claudia’s main course high praise again, while their fellow competitors had mixed reviews, many saying that the dish lacked flavour or correct seasoning. If Bruce and Claudia were to beat Liz and Leanne’s score of 69 out of 100 they’d have to blow everyone away with their dessert.
Claudia’s speciality has always been baking, and she did not hold back when it came to preparing her mille feuille with vanilla pastry cream and berries. When judge J’Something confessed that a mille feuille is his favourite dessert, Claudia clearly felt the pressure to perform, but her anxiety around producing the perfect end to their meal didn’t matter because the dessert was a total triumph. “I can tell you now that I can’t make puff pastry this good,” Chef David Higgs complimented a teary Claudia. “This was a very, very good dessert,” he concluded. Not even their competition could fault the dish. “It looked like it came straight off a magazine cover,” Kelly raved. “It was absolutely sublime.”
With that, it came to scoring the night and Bruce and Claudia did what they set out to do from the start and took over the top spot on the MKRSA leader board. Next week it will be the turn of mother and daughter duo Lani and Louzel to host everyone in their farmhouse in Cradock, Eastern Cape. Will their three-generation-old family recipe book stand them in good stead, or will they crumble under the pressure of following Bruce and Claudia?
My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.