MasterChef SA kicks off with a bang

March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Wow what a gripping show that first episode of MasterChef SA was! The contestants really pulled out all the stops to impress with their dishes and there was a nice mix of simple and complicated.Oven-roasted fish with lime-butter, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and shoestring potatoes

It all started out quite slow, then moved rapidly through the bulk of the contestants, which is kind of confusing, but that’s TV we guess.

Johannesburg and Durban proved to deliver the most competent cooks, though no one can argue that Luxolo, the dishwasher from the Cape, stole most hearts. Funny  the crying though, it’s not really a South African thing?

That aside, we also liked the ‘not-jaded’ Jade from Cape Town with her chocolate tartlet with Cape berries and cardamom ice cream and Khayakazi (love that name) from Jozie with her scallops and rhubarb tart with orange vinaigrette. Then of course there was Ken from Pinetown with his almost showtstopping kingklip with taragon mustard sauce that made at least one judge ‘hear the sea.’ We’ll be watching these guys.

So from frangipani tartlet to pap & vleis and lots of seafood inbetween, there was a little bit of everything for everybody. Well done MNet for a great show.


All the contestants had to ‘cook’ a cold dish to get to this first round, which made us wonder just what it is that makes a cold dish tick. We think we’ve found the answer.

Woolworths TASTE Consultant Food Editor Hannah Lewry took us by the hand and showed us how to create the perfectly beautiful, crisp and healthy summer pizza that can be served cold on a hot summer’s day. It’s not something everyone would think of cooking, but Hannah says her friends rave loudly when she makes it on weekends. It’s simple, which is the key.

Digging even deeper is Woolworths The Pantry blogger Alida Ryder of Simply Delicious who has similarly created a marinated calamari and fennel salad. She uses Patagonian calamari from Woolies and the whole dish takes 20 minutes from prep to plate.

Phenomenal food blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs of Scrumptious decided to complicate things a touch with her heady Gin-cured salmon gravadlax with crisped capers. But don’t be put off, it’s a really simple dish that works because of its clever combination of flavours.

If cold dishes still have you stumped, pop on over to Woolworths The Pantry where we have inspiration galore for getting it right. For starters there’s the quick-to-follow how to video that teaches you the ins and outs of making that classic French mayonnaise, aioli. This sauce is great served over seafood or with finely cut French fries. Get all the ingredients online from Woolies then make it at home.

Here is some more recipe inspiration, straight from the pages of Woolworths TASTE magazine. Feel inspired to make it at home? All the ingredients are ready-basketed for you over at Life couldn’t be simpler.

Smoked salmon trout slaw made with oyster mushrooms, radishes and cucumber ribbons and trout or salmon is perfectly bound together with a lovely dressing. Buy all the ingredients needed to make this recipe online at Woolies The Pantry.

smoked salmon trout slaw


At least one of the contestants tried and failed to make the perfect risotto. But we have the perfect recipe for a smashing cold mushroom risotto using a mixture of exotic mushrooms along with garlic, dry white wine and Winelands brie. Buy all the ingredients needed to make this recipe online at Woolies The Pantry.

Cold mushroom risotto

For more recipe inspiration, visit and the brand spanking new Woolworths The Pantry. And for some great reads on the MasterChef judges (and their addiction to chocolate), get the April issue of Woolworths TASTE, on sale now at Woolworths stores countrywide.


The Woolies Pantry Team

2 responses to MasterChef SA kicks off with a bang

  1. Wow. I am incredibly impressed by how you actually wrote about the show details and got it up so fast. (No, everyone else, it wasn’t me. And no, we didn’t see the show first.)

    So GLAD that the show didn’t suck though, aren’t you? I can totally do 18 weeks of this… yay SA!

    PS Oh, and I wouldn’t be doing my new job if I didn’t tell you to go and check out The Pantry links above.

    PPS Hi. :)

  2. Got to say, was not impressed with the first episode. I really hope it gets better. And whats up with those judges.? can anybody say “lame”…. especially the one in the suit…. He just tries way to hard.
    To date…. The best “Masterchef ” for me, has been the Australian one. And I’m not a fan of Australians… so that’s really saying something.

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