Meet MasterChef SA’s quadruple threat!

By admin
04 September 2013

Seline and Leandri van der Wat are what one would call a triple threat. They’re gorgeous, clever and they clearly have vivacious personalities. But one might argue they’re in fact a quadruple threat, adding one more super talent – being able to cook.

Times that by two hardworking sisters from Pretoria, and your equation might equal brilliance and strong competition.  Seline (25) is a renewable energy plant developer and Leandri (23) a master’s student in chemistry and both have made it into the MasterChef South Africa top four. And seeing that these two know each other best, we decided to spice things up a bit . . .

We asked the sisters to come up with creative questions they could ask each other. This was the result:

Seline to Leandri:

Q: Last year you took a solo trip through Africa. What was your favourite country and the most important thing you learnt?

A: I travelled alone around Africa in 2012, staying with different missionaries and volunteering at many organisations. I think my favourite African country has to be Rwanda. The people are inspirational and they have such a brilliant attitude.

The biggest lesson I learnt through that experience is that God is so faithful. So many times He provided for me in dangerous situations, when I was lost and when I was lonely.

Q: Are you single?

A: I am, but I also am not. I strongly believe in dating towards the end goal of getting married. So until God shows me who He wants me to marry, I am technically “not on the market” and thus not single. I don't want to play games.

Q: Who were you closest to at MasterChef (excluding me!)

A: My roommate, Karen Els, really crept deep into my heart. She’s such a warm and caring person. She also willingly shared her knowledge and taught me so many skills. I was also close to Sanet and to Tiron ? I was very sad when both of them left.

Q: You sang a lot while cooking in the kitchen . . . Was it always the same song?

A: I used to listen to music on my iPod before we went into the kitchen and it was invariably Jesus Culture, Switchfoot or Misty Edwards. When I'm in “the zone” and really enjoying it, I tend to sing without realising it, and that happened often in the kitchen. Once chef Pete [Goffe-Wood] walked past and said “shut up” as I was singing. That was mean!

Q: What is the last thing on Earth you would ever eat?

A: A cat. They carry lots of parasites and viruses and I just wouldn't be able to put it in my mouth. Plus, they are really cute so it would bother me a lot to eat something that is so adorable. It just doesn't seem right.

Q: You're brave in the kitchen and you learn so quickly ? what is the best new trick/combination you've learnt?

A: I learnt how to smoke things by putting together a makeshift smoker with a pot and foil. I also learnt you can make a sorbet out of anything ? for instance I made a grilled sweet corn sorbet. That was fun. It opens up a whole new world of culinary exploration.

Q: Since you've been on the show, what misconceptions do people have about you that you'd like to clear up?

A: People often confuse scientists and engineers. It really irritates me when I get called an engineer! Scientists develop theories and then engineers take the theory and apply it in a certain way to make money out of it.

I'd also like to clear up that Jason and I will never be a couple. It doesn't matter how many people tell us we'd be a good couple ? no ways! I do enjoy having him as a friend though.

Leandri to Seline:

Q: You have pet bunnies. If you were stranded on an island and you had to slaughter bunnies as your only food source, would you find it in you to kill and eat them?

A: NO! I wouldn’t ever eat my bunnies . . . They’re like my children!

Q: You had lots of highs and one or two lows in the competition. What is the one thing you’d change about your time in MasterChef?

A: I wish I’d never served the judges my top 5 dish . . . an empty plate would have been better! Or better yet, I wish I hadn’t frozen or freaked out in that challenge . . . But you learn from these things, I guess.

Q: I know you have some strange snacking tendencies. You mentioned on MasterChef that you enjoy eating raw pasta from the bag. Tell us about the other weird things you eat when watching TV, and why?

A: I love eating raw pasta . . . It’s so hard and bad for your teeth but I just can’t help myself. But most of the time I eat frozen things. I eat frozen peas, frozen grapes, frozen pieces of apple, frozen raspberries! I know it’s strange but I’m addicted to the texture of frozen food.

Q: You and your boyfriend, Jaco, have been dating for almost five years now. What kind of dish do you prepare for him when you want to bribe him? Do you enjoy cooking for him?

A: I really do enjoy cooking for Jaco because he’s always so excited about it and he’s always so sweet about the food I make! He didn’t grow up in a “cooking family” so I think he enjoys learning a lot . . . If I want to bribe Jaco I make him a dessert with chocolate, served with a citrus touch with whisky on the side. That or a good fillet steak with a beetroot sauce. Then he’d give me anything I’d want.

Q: People have been quite rude on social media at times. How do you handle it?

A: The way I choose to deal with it is to focus on the positive. The person I am on the show is the real, honest, true me. If people misunderstand me or simply don’t like me, it hurts, but there isn’t anything I can do about it.

Q: I’ll never forget the crazy chocolate cake you made for dad’s birthday when you were 12 years old. What on Earth were you thinking, making a monumental creation like that?!

A: Ha-ha! That’s the cake I made with 1,4 kg of different chocolates in it, with two ganaches and almond praline . . . while I had a broken arm! I believe if you don’t know how difficult something is to do you’re far more likely to succeed at it, because you don’t psyche yourself out!

Q: How did you feel walking into the  MasterChef kitchen on the Nederburg Estate every day? Describe that feeling.

A: Walking into that kitchen was always 10 per cent pure fear, 40 per cent excitement and 50 per cent absolute disbelief and awe that I was actually walking in to the MasterChef kitchen – a dream!

Q: When we were Top 16 who did you think would win?

A: I honestly thought Sanet would win!

Q: Who, of the Top 16, do you think are going to stay in contact? Did you make any friends for life?

A: I’ve definitely made friends for life in Kamini, Tiron and Ozzy . . . I miss not seeing them every day!

-Loren Pienaar

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