Gqeberha husband and wife team Tim and Shereez were eliminated from My Kitchen Rules SA this week (27 November, 18:00 on M-Net Channel 101), after a panel of judges scored the six remaining duos’ dishes in a blind tasting.
Meanwhile, Azraa and Waven’s dish of red wine-poached pears scored top marks (89/100), despite the presence of an opinion-dividing neon green tuile. They were followed by Abraham and Michelle’s Cabernet Sauvignon malva pudding with Cabernet chocolate sauce (81/100), and last week’s grateful lifeline recipients Jessica and Nicole with their oxtail with samp risotto (74/100).
The contestants’ task this week was to produce South African-inspired, restaurant-quality dishes that incorporated wines from sponsors Nederburg in the cooking, rather than pairing. They had two hours to produce their dishes in the kitchen at the François Ferreira Academy in George and were judged in a blind tasting by a panel comprising MKRSA judges David Higgs and J’Something; Academy founder François Ferreira and CEO Elsie Harmse, and Distell Premium Wines Marketing Manager Jackie Oliver and Nederburg Assistant White Winemaker Jamie Williamson. Mentoring and encouraging them in the kitchen, away from the judges’ gaze, was chef and author Karen Dudley.
As the clock started to tick down from two hours, the contestants conceptualised their dishes: Tim and Shereez opted for spicy lamb knuckles stew and pap; Shaeem and Mas-ud went for a dessert, with chocolate loaded cake; Jessica and Nicole stayed true to their promise and prepared oxtail and risotto; Larcé and Jabu chose to cook lamb chops and pap; Abraham and Michelle went all in with their Cabernet Sauvignon malva pudding with Cabernet chocolate sauce while Azraa and Waven chose red wine-poached pears.
Jessica and Nicole were determined to honour Martin and Eddie for their sacrifice to keep the ladies in the competition by cooking their hearts out – and deviating from cooking vegetarian dishes, as they had in the previous two challenges. Waven was still navigating how to handle kitchen implements without a large chunk of one of his fingers, which he’d sliced off while chopping strawberries in last week’s challenge. Shaeem and Mas-ud – who don’t consume alcohol for religious reasons – decided to cook with wine, despite the availability of non-alcoholic variants.
Once the contestants’ time in the kitchen had flown by, Karen Dudley presented each dish to the judges on their behalf, without revealing the identities of the team that had prepared them. They debated each one and scored individually, to give each dish a score out of 100.
With the scores locked in and contestants assembled, David and J’Something offered their opinion on each, before the identity of the cooks was revealed by Karen. David said the poached pear dish (Azraa and Waven’s) had been prepared to professional standards and that their crumble and drops of reduction had really elevated the dish. J’Something said of the Cabernet Sauvignon malva pudding (Abraham and Michelle’s), "the visual was spectacular. It looked like a piece of art" and praised the cooks for nailing the brief.
David declared the oxtail risotto (Jessica and Nicole’s) to be his favourite dish of the week, praising the way they’d managed to prep the oxtail in the short allotted time and for the way they’d incorporated Sauvignon Blanc into the samp risotto – though he did chide them for not incorporating more vegetables. J’Something said that the lamb chops and pap (Larcé & Jabu) felt like an amazing Seven Colour Sunday lunch...but one served at a really good restaurant.
Of the two least-impressive dishes, David said the spicy lamb knuckle stew and pap (Tim and Shereez) had contained beautifully-cooked potato but that it hadn’t come together as a dish. J’Something said the tough lamb and the overly-spicy gravy had let the dish down. The chocolate loaded cake was, according to David, missing something to break the intense chocolate flavour and that the sweet wine pairing with the chocolate had clearly been made by people who didn’t drink wine.
With the scores revealed, Tim and Shereez only lost out by two points (57) to Shaeem and Mas-ud (59) and they bid the five remaining teams – and the judges – a tearful goodbye.
This week, the teams get "fancy" in an iconic Knysna challenge, featuring a double cook and a double elimination.
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. It is also available on DStv Catch Up after broadcast. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, using #MKRSA.