Abraham and Michelle, Azraa and Waven, and Shaeem and Mas-ud will compete for the My Kitchen Rules SA season 4 title and the R1 million prize in this week’s finale after Larcé and Jabu and Jessica and Nicole were eliminated in a double cook in the latest episode.
Idyllic Knysna was the setting for the two-part challenge – but the contestants didn’t have much time to appreciate the beautiful scenery with eliminations looming. The first challenge saw the contestants tasked with preparing a dish that honoured oysters and the second, preparing a vegan dish inspired by the lush forest around the seaside town. The team who prepared the least impressive dish in each challenge would be eliminated immediately.
The oyster challenge immediately had Larcé and Jabu and Shaeem and Mas-ud worried, as they were unfamiliar with the taste and texture of the molluscs. All the contestants seemed to have done some studying as gels, foams, mignonettes, caviars, and soils found their way onto the menu as part of the three elements that had to support their oyster dishes. Some of them quickly found that their "science experiments" were a bridge too far under the pressure of producing three variations in an hour and were soon ditched for more practical accompaniments.
While the judges found positives and negatives for each dish, the least impressive dish of the challenge was Larcé and Jabu’s oyster with passionfruit vinaigrette and a second cooked oyster with garlic sauce and chilli salsa. Judge David Higgs said that although the passionfruit vinaigrette was fresh and clean, the flavour of the oyster was lost. J’Something said that the passion fruit flavour completely overwhelmed the flavour of the oyster, while the second cooked oyster had lost much of its freshness. As Larcé and Jabu departed, J’Something praised their "big, bold flavours and big, bold personalities".
The remaining four teams of contestants then made their way into the forest and, after J’Something encouraged them to just stop and breathe in the scents and listen to the birdsong, they were briefed to create a vegan dish that captured the sensory experience of sitting in the heart of the greenery. They had one hour to prepare a dish with four elements, one of which needed to be smoked and capture the essence of the forest.
With the science of the previous challenge abandoned, the contestants presented their dishes: Azraa and Waven a smoked aubergine and spinach curry roti; Abraham and Michelle a "Sunday roast in the forest" comprising aubergine steak and onion gravy; Jessica and Nicole a spinach and ricotta "forest ravioli" and Shaeem and Masud a broccoli forest steak with butternut, carrot, and baby marrow roulade.
While David enjoyed the bite of Abraham and Michelle’s aubergine and J’Something was impressed with the innovative roulade and magnificent plating of Shaeem and Mas-ud’s dish, they felt that Azraa and Waven had hidden the vegetables in a roti they hoped to pass off as a fallen log and that Jessica and Nicole had failed to hero the vegetables in their dish.
The decision then was between Azraa and Waven and Jessica and Nicole – and was ultimately made on the lack of smoke in the latter duo’s dish, eliminating them for a second time. The teary duo said it had been a privilege to cook and learn as sisters and that they felt they’d redeemed themselves in the previous two challenges after being saved from elimination before.
Their elimination means Abraham and Michelle, Azraa and Waven, and Shaeem and Mas-ud will compete for the R1 million prize in this week’s My Kitchen Rules SA final, where they’ll have to dazzle the judges with the ultimate three-course meal that shows off their skills, passion, and heritage.
My Kitchen Rules SA is produced by Picture Tree and proudly sponsored by Nederburg. The series is available on DStv Premium on M-Net (Channel 101) every Sunday at 18:00, as well as live-streamed on the DStv App, and is also available on DStv Catch Up after broadcast. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, using #MKRSA.