Proof is in the pudding for MasterChef SA winner

2012-07-25 07:05

Deena Naidoo is South Africa’s first MasterChef.

The 45-year-old IT specialist from Durban beat Sue-Ann Allen from Cape Town to take the title after a gruelling 18 weeks of cooking.

Deena was announced the winner of the reality cooking show at an event held at the MondoVino Restaurant at the SunSquare Hotel in Montecasino, Johannesburg.

In addition to the title, Deena won R8 million in prizes, including R250 000 in cash from Robertson’s, one of the show’s main sponsors, a car from Hyundai and the opportunity to run his own restaurant.

MasterChef SA is an M-Net production.

The show was shot at the MasterChef kitchen situated on the Nederburg wine estate in Western Cape.

Judge Benny Masekwameng explained that the finalé would consist out of three rounds: a mystery box, an invention test and a pressure test.

The judges would score each round and at the end, they would add up the scores and the person with the most points would become South Africa’s first MasterChef.

The mystery box revealed a selection of veggies, which Deena and Sue-Ann had to make a starter with.

Sue-Ann decided to go for beetroot and goats’ cheese samoosas with crispy fried ribbons of vegetables and a herbed mayonnaise.

Deena made a medley of vegetables: sautéed Brussels sprouts, roasted root vegetables and a parsnip purée.
 
For the first time in the MasterChef kitchen, both contestants were done with their plates with five minutes to spare.

For the invention test, which was the main course, Sue-Ann decided to make a poached fillet of beef with a jus and vegetables.

Deena opted coriander crusted lamb loin with onion and spinach bhaji and roasted potatoes.

The dessert that was revealed for the pressure test: a deconstructed milk tart consisting of thin pastry layers with a base of cinnamon and apple gel and piped-out milk tart filling.

It was topped with crystallised fennel seeds and a spun sugar spiral and served with a baby basil and appelmoes.

Benny described it as “a South African classic recreated as a fine dining dessert”.

The spun sugar turned out to be more of a challenge for both contestants and Sue-Ann had to leave it off her plate.

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