No respectable cook will produce a television series with teams of teens facing extreme and hectic outdoor challenges without making them cook, no way! So we made them cook. And not the usual ninny kind of fare people give 13-year olds to ‘cook’ like plonking pre-cut slices of bread in a toaster and shoving frozen fish fingers into the oven, no. Real food. Real flames. Real knives. It was a real challenge for all of us…
It was raining cats and dogs the day we were to shoot the cooking episode for the new series Challenge SOS, (SABC3, 8h30 from Oct 15) so we had to do it indoors and put up lights. Ugh. By now we are so spoilt in doing it au naturel that we heaved and sighed but after an hour or so, we had ugly lights up making the cooking area indoors Tri Active Lodge looking almost a beautiful as Mother Nature herself while the beautiful gardens outside seemed ethereal like a rain forest.
First we interviewed the teams and as was expected, they all claimed they cannot, will not cook. Ever. I looked at them with trepidation, knowing what we had planned for them…
Right. So eventually it was time to move onto the cooking challenge. Onto the set came the teams. And then the presenter, Mpho. She did not mince her words: two portable meals that can be taken on an overnight camp must be prepared and in each meal one main item must be cooked from scratch. They both got gas burners and exactly the same ingredients, almost like the mystery box on Masterchef. But they tossed a coin for the two electrical appliances: one smokeless grill and one frying pan. And they got 45 minutes to get food for 4 people in a rucksack to take on camp. These had to be presented to Chef Riaan and Brain of the lodge.
So they started and soon some recognisable dishes started taking shape on their prep tables. When Mpho called the end, the teams had packed their rucksacks and cleaned their prep tables already! Of course, one team won and one team lost but amazingly, these novices could prepare a breakfast and dinner for 4 people under pressure that will put many so-called adult cooks to shame … and I know a few!
Here are the images.
The set-off, ready steady cook!
The perpetual question: what shall we cook?
It got a litte heated …
This boy taking the leadership role, obviously explaining ’how to’ a wrap…
Finally food! Grilled steak wrap for this team …
Burnt wraps for this team …..
So old Boeries to the rescue!
We all had fun, even the judges!
Life’s back to normal that afternoon …. relieved smiles all round!
And also remarkably, the above Boeries and Wraps were not the only dishes featured on the menu. There was spicy rice, some crumbed chicken strips and a whole lot more. The shooting is coming fast to an end but for now, I am on a 2-week break. Hah! Not a break like in a chillax, noooo! We are editing like mad, and I am working on the next series, a cookery series hopefully launching end January 2012.
In the meanwhile pop into I Love Cooking to check out our easy and delicious family recipes. Why not try any of these if you are fresh out of ideas for this meatless Monday? Click on the recipe titles to go to the recipe.
Grilled Garlic Mushrooms
Twice-baked Cheese, Corn & Chive Soufflés
Going to have lunch with one of my ultimate and most respected favourite food writers today … Janice Tripepi. Yay, some realness ..!