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My Kitchen Rules South Africa


From FFA to MKRSA – My Kitchen Rules SA

30 November 2022
Spotlighting the François Ferreira Academy.
television crew filming outside chef school

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes two villages to put together a television show. The Instant Restaurant phase of My Kitchen Rules South Africa means a completely different setting every single time, as the episodes move from one home to the next. The Challenge Phase gets even more…well, challenging, as the show moves from wildly different locations; like it has this season as we’ve moved from the beach to the market to a chef school. And that’s just the first three challenges. There are even more beautiful, exciting, and challenging locations coming up in the last two episodes.

Each location needs lights, cameras, sound, and much more before the cooking teams bring the action. This season, the hardworking crew had a little help in the form of interns from the François Ferreira Academy (FFA), the chef school that was founded in 2004 and featured as the location for the challenge in episode 13. And while the interns lugged, hauled, fetched, and carried, they experienced putting together a television show and, most importantly, honed their food skills and knowledge.

We also posed a few questions to some of the interns about their experience on the show. From meeting the judges and joking with the crew to seeing new places and watching the contestants put dishes together, there was lots that made working on My Kitchen Rules SA lots of fun. For Amy Scott (20), who is currently studying to become a professional chef at François Ferreira Academy, the experience was unforgettable. “The fact that I could experience something so big at my age, it was like a dream I didn’t want to wake up from,” she says.

That’s not to say it wasn’t without its challenges. The early mornings and long shoot days take getting used to. Throw in the Garden Route’s temperamental weather and the days just get tougher…although, with several of the interns hailing from the Cape, they’re used to the moody weather. It was really the Gautengers heaving sighs at appearing and disappearing and reappearing rain clouds, as well as excruciatingly low speed limits.

But for the students at François Ferreira Academy, located in George, there’s not much time to wonder about the weather, because the Academy’s mission is to be leaders in hospitality and culinary arts in Africa – and that means a lot of hard work. But it’s all worth it. As Emile Bezuidenhout (19), an intern and FFA student with dreams of opening a catering business and event venue, says, “Hard work pays off and [at François Ferreira Academy] people notice all the effort you put into what you do.” With a leader like François Ferreira, that’s easy to believe.

Let’s not forget what it all comes down to: food! Whether cooking with wine, applying an entrepreneurial spirit, or zhoosing up a burger, the interns got plenty of inspiration working on the show  (you can too, with recipes from the show here).

If you're going to visit the Garden Route, you might not be able to eat the contestants’ food, but with the area becoming increasingly renowned as a foodie location, you’ll still be spoilt for delicious choices. Warrenisha Wildschut (20), another intern studying to become a chef at FFA, recommends The Cowshed at Portland Manor in Knysna. Emile suggests La Cantina at Fancourt in George; and remember, in Sedgefield, you can visit the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market that featured in episode 12.

You can even eat at François Ferreira Academy, which has just opened a restaurant at the school. It offers up what Academy campus manager and My Kitchen Rules SA challenge producer Catherine Eybers calls “an elegant dining experience with a menu that depicts François Ferreira's style of cooking: South African, with his signature edge added to each dish.” And the chefs are all Academy alumni. “They are all so passionate about being part of the new academy and restaurant, that they have come back to be part of the journey,” Catherine says. "The students will also do their work-integrated learning at the restaurant, which means they will be mentored by chefs that came from the FFA mould.” So if you find yourself in George this Dezemba, be sure to pop in to say hi and grab a bite to eat.

If you missed the episode set at François Ferreira Academy, catch up with DStv here.
This week, the teams face a double elimination in the penultimate episode of season 4.
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