FIRST LOOK | Go behind the scenes of the new MasterChef SA set with us

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  • In November 2021, Channel24's resident foodie Bashiera Parker visited the MasterChef South Africa set at Maker's Landing at the V&A Waterfront.
  • Producer Paul Venter spoke candidly about the new season, as Bashiera toured the set, keeping everything under wraps - until now.
  • "It's going to be fantastic," Paul said of season four, as Bashiera captured the most "iconic" of TV kitchens. "You can walk in anywhere in the world. And you'll see, this is the MasterChef kitchen," Paul said.

MasterChef South Africa will return to screens on Monday 28 February, with new judges Zola Nene, Gregory Czarnecki and Justine Drake.

Zola Nene on the set of MasterChef SA season 4.
Gregory Czarnecki on the set of MasterChef SA season 4.
Justine Drake, MasterChef SA
Justine Drake on the set of MasterChef SA season 4.

On M-Net's decision to bring the show back, producer Paul Venter tells me: "People started cooking during Covid. There's a whole move towards food and a food culture."

He calls it "feel-good food" – the kind that sees you "having fun in the kitchen, crying, laughing" – exactly the kind of energy you'd want to welcome in 2022 – after two whole years of a pandemic.

And with the return of the show, comes a brand-new location at Maker's Landing, located in the Cruise Terminal at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

During a set visit in November, Channel24 got exclusive access and was able to see the new MasterChef SA kitchen. Of course, we had to keep it under wraps for months, until now, that is.

MasterChef SA
The new MasterChef SA set.
MasterChef SA
A mystery box on the new season of MasterChef SA.
MasterChef SA
The iconic clock on the new MasterChef SA set.

"It's basically the terminal for the cruise ships," Paul tells me and a few other journos during a quick Q&A. "So, unfortunately, Covid obviously stopped this whole place in its tracks... the ships that are coming. And I spoke to [Specialist Task Producer] Hannerie [Visser]; it was a perfect fit for us. So we moved the MasterChef kitchen in here.

"All the people on the other side with the food stands also had no business. And we've got them. They're doing all the catering for the set now. So from M-Net's side, from us, we're pumping millions back into Maker's Landing in these past two months to make this still a viable place for everybody working here.

"The philosophy behind Maker's Landing is amazing," he says, adding that the MasterChef SA set is also a green set, i.e. a sustainable one.

"But for us, it is an amazing honour and privilege to be at the Waterfront." 

MasterChef is not so rigid anymore. So we mix mystery boxes with invention tests. So they [MasterChef] are happy for you to do what you want as long as you stick to the MasterChef iconic moments with the judges, and the walking, and the clock, and all those doors and the kitchen. I mean, the kitchen is iconic; you can walk in anywhere in the world, and you'll see, this is the MasterChef kitchen.
-- Producer Paul Venter teases what's to come in season 4 of MasterChef SA

Paul explains they're using their new setting of the real working harbour environment to their advantage, capturing the most beautiful shots. "It's gorgeous. We use it," he says.

"So they enter from the top parking level every day. They walk in every day, and you'll see the big barn with the MasterChef logo. So that's upstairs on the top parking area. And we did two walk-ins at 05:30 in the morning, and they went down the whole parking area, and you could see all the lights of Cape Town on the water. They walk across that and into the building with a big MasterChef sign. And we shot that twice with choppers and aerials. It's really good fun stuff."

He tells me: "It's going to be fantastic and it's in South Africa. And just the setting of the Waterfront just elevates it. We've seen some of the footage, and it's just it looks fantastically international, set in a city, with the biggest table behind it."

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