After an overwhelming response at auditions in Johannesburg last week, the MasterChef SA team are heading to South Africa’s “foodie” capital – the Mother City! The MasterChefauditions in Cape Town are taking place at Southern Sun The Cullinan in Cape Town on Saturday, 10 December.
M-Net’s Communications Manager, Lani Lombard, says the first auditions have shown that MasterChef SA has all the ingredients to be an extremely popular television show. “South Africans are passionate about food and those who enter MasterChef definitely know how to whip up mouthwatering dishes. In this show, it’s not so much about separating the wheat from the chaff; it’s about finding the very best potential candidates among thousands of good cooks. We’re looking for someone with the mindset of a MasterChef.”
Almost 4000 people arrived at the kick-off leg of auditions in Johannesburg on Saturday, 3 December, armed with exotic dishes, cooler boxes and high spirits. Despite the sweltering heat and a long morning queue, contestants remained up-beat and even shared tips and recipes as the queue snaked its way around The Pivot – Southern Sun Montecasino.
MasterChef SA offers the most valuable prize in South African television history. The winner of MasterChef South Africa will win R250 000 from Robertsons, a brand new Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GLS, a 7-day culinary experience in Italy and an Italian cookery course courtesy of Woolworths, a year’s supply of Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve wines and a customised sommelier course and one-on-one masterclasses with Nederburg’s cellarmaster, as well as their very own Southern Sun restaurant at Sun Square Montecasino. The total prize value for South Africa’s first MasterChef exceeds R8 Million.
So what do you need to know for auditions in Cape Town and Durban? Here is a recap of requirements:
- MasterChef SA is for amateur cooks only, and professional chefs will not be considered for the show.
- Contestants must serve one plate of food to the show’s food experts – they are all accredited South African Chefs Association judges.
- The audition judges will only taste one plate of food, no matter how many different recipes one brings in.
- Only present the completed dish you’d like the judge to taste – there is no need to waste money and resources on show pieces.
- PLEASE NO GLASSWARE! Please do not plate on or in any form of glassware. If the glass breaks or chips it is dangerous for the judges to taste your food. Plastic is an acceptable alternative if necessary.
- The plate of food must be complete, there will be no time and no equipment for you to finish off your dish.
- Also please bring a printed recipe of your dish – no more than two A4 pages.
- Please think carefully about the food that you bring, and how you will transport it to the open auditions, especially if you are travelling from afar.
- Only the contestant will be allowed into the judging room – so please be aware that you must be able to carry everything yourself – cooler box, recipe and plate ofcomplete food. Family and friends are welcome to join you at auditions, but they will not be allowed into the tasting area.
Here are some extra hints that may help South Africa’s wannabe MasterChefs:
- Your completed dish must be transported to the venue in a cooler box at below 4oC. The temperature of your completed dish will be checked using infrared digital thermometers.
- Put ice bricks/ ice/ dry ice in your cooler box – the box will not maintain the temperature of your completed dish without it! This is to avoid being turned away because your food is over the temperature that is considered safe to consume.
- Remember that dry ice will freeze your food, so only use it for items you’d like to present frozen, and remember to take the product out in time.
- White plates show off your food the best!
- If you are doing a chilled soup, use a thermo flask to transport the chilled soup.
- Use plastic squeeze bottles to transport sauces/ dressings/ drizzles.
- The dish must be an original reflection of you the contestant – your knowledge of food and your understanding of flavour – not a direct copy from a cook book or internet!
Only the best of the best will proceed onto the next phase of the audition process, so if you think you have the mindset of a true MasterChef, come to open auditions at Southern Sun The Cullinan on Saturday, 10 December, or the Suncoast Casino in Durban on Saturday, 17 December. Registration closes at 17:00 in all cities.