TV Guide: Who will be masterchef?

2012-07-21 08:51

At first there were 18. After weeks of gruelling challenges, knife mishaps, burnt pots, tears and triumphs, only two are left standing.

It’s finally down to the wire on the first season of MasterChef South Africa.

This week saw the exit of firm favourite 29-year-old newly wed Manisha Naidu. Forgetting to plate a critical ingredient in the French cuisine challenge proved to be her undoing.

Now the fight for the title of SA’s first MasterChef is between IT specialist Deena Naidoo (45) from Durban and Cape Town lighting designer Sue-Anne Allen (30).

The duo has been consistent throughout the competition and they have held their own in challenges.

But will it be the flavour specialist Deena or the sleeper hit Sue-Anne who claims the title?

Sue-Anne Allen

Background: A lighting consultant for an interior design company, she resigned to follow her food dream. It might yet prove to be the best decision of her life so far.

Food approach: Creative and experimental with bold flavours.

Confidence: She is calm and extremely focused. She’s handled herself well during Pressure Tests. Her confidence in the kitchen does not border on arrogance, which serves her well.

Precision: When Sue-Anne fell behind last week’s Pressure Test of roast duck with hazelnut milk gel, South Africa was pretty much convinced that she was out. But her attention to detail and methodical work ethic proved in her favour.

Sarel got the boot instead.

Verdict: She’s a dark horse and could easily snatch the title from under Deena’s nose.

Deena Naidoo

Background: A dedicated family man who has found the separation from his wife and family to be the most difficult part of this experience.

Food approach: Technical and measured, but not very adventurous.

Confidence: A highly emotional man, Deena’s nerves sometimes get the better of him in the kitchen.

His lack of confidence in making some dishes have made many think he’s a goner – until he digs deep into his reserves and springs a surprise.

It seems there is nothing this man can’t cook or bake, even if it is for the first time.

Precision: He’s a highly technical and measured cook. His dishes are simple but come from the heart. If he could bottle and sell his passion and dedication for food, he’d be a rich man.

Verdict: People love this man and root for him during Pressure Tests. It’s his competition to lose.

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