On the hunt for SA’s top amateur chef

2012-03-19 00:00

BURNING desire is the biggest difference between being a good chef and a great chef — and the contestants in MasterChef South Africa will have to show plenty of that to win the biggest prize in television history.

The reality series, which has thrilled viewers in over 33 countries to-date, gets underway on M-Net and M-Net HD tomorrow night at 7.30 pm — and the winner stands the chance to walk away with prizes valued at R8 million, including the chance to run the MondoVido restaurant at Southern Sun’s Sun Square Hotel at Montecasino in Johannesburg for two years and R250 000 in cash from the show’s headline sponsor, Robertsons.

The men who’ll be choosing the winner are Andrew Atkinson, the man in charge at Piccolo Mondo restaurant in Sandton, current MondoVino chef, Benny Masekwameng and Pete Goffe-Wood, an Eat In DSTV Food Network Produce Awards judge and owner of the Kitchen Cowboys cooking school.

Goffe-Wood was described by MasterChef publicist, Ingrid Engelbrecht as “the bad ass judge” at the media launch for the series at MondoVido last week. But while he might spare the contestants no punches on screen, off screen he was a different person, she added. “He cried the most. Every time we lost a contestant, he had to be consoled in the dressing room,” Engelbrecht said.

Atkinson, meanwhile is a director of the South African Chefs’ Association and has presented cooking shows on SABC and radio, and cooked for presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.

Masekwameng started out in Alexandra, helping his mother prepare food to sell to the workers in local townships, and eventually saved enough to study catering management. He then worked his way up to become an executive chef who has travelled around the world.

Pierre Cloete, head of M-Net, said he was very impressed with the three judges, who were experts in their field, adding: “They are not just great cooks, great chefs, but great personalities … and I predict that they will soon be household names in South Africa.”

MasterChef South Africa, which will run for 18 weeks, aims to find amazing amateur chefs whose talent, dedication and passion for food could change their lives forever.

Fans of the programme will be able to access a website that will be jam-packed with mouth-watering morsels and delicious titbits from the show, as well as recipes that you can recreate at home.

Many of those recipes will also be in a cookbook which will be published by Human & Rousseau in October.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.