Everything You Need to Know about Masterchef South Africa


MasterChef South Africa is a well-known reality cooking competition that gets aired on M-NET each year, since 2012. It’s the South African version of the famous MasterChef cooking series that gets aired annually in more than 33 countries worldwide. It all started with the preliminary aim of helping slap-dash cooks add a professional touch in their cooking, while entertaining millions of viewers at the same time. And since then, the show has grown to be one of the most successful TV shows in South Africa—if not the most watched South African TV show.

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Masterchef South Africa: Everything You Need to Know

The show was first aired in 2012, and like Theo Erasmus—the General Entertainment director of M-NET– likes to put it, the first season of the ongoing series was not only considered ground-breaking, but one that has expressively made M-NET proud of its production in the recent past.

In fact, there’s no exaggeration in saying that each of the two aired MasterChef South Africa seasons came with its own unique sparkle. The first season was trend-setting, yes… and while viewers were actually expecting a second show that couldn’t exactly measure up with the first, the second season came and raised the bar a notch higher. And it’s because of that the 3rd show is projected to be outstandingly one of a kind when compared to the preceding two.

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The show has three judges, who—like all the previous cooking contestants—were subjected to a series of trials before being picked up for the panel. The trial occurred a year before the first season of the series kick-started, and it went on for months as famed chefs, socialites and celebrities battled out for the positions. A ballpark figure of 150 hopefuls competed for the judge slot. And by the end of it, Benny Masekwameng, Andrew Atkinson and Pete Goffe-Wood were the designated judges for the forthcoming MasterChef cooking contests.

Deena Naidoo was actually the first South African to scoop the MasterChef title after he battled out Sue Ann through the Mystery Box, Pressure Test and Invention Test. The contest, which initially had 16 finalists, saw to it that Deena took the first MasterChef SA title, as well as the big prize that was initially set aside for the winner of the show—R400, 000, a 5-day holiday for two in Seychelles, a spanking brand new VW Golf, a R100, 000 shopping voucher at Woolworths, as well as a whole year up for grabs supply of a full sommelier course and wine from Nederburg.

After the first MasterChef SA contest, it didn’t take long before the second season hit the climax when Kamini Pather fought her way to the final against Leandri Van Der Wat before being announced the winner down the wire. However, her win somehow generated a mixed breeze as some viewers thought that either Seline—Leandri’s sister—or Mohammed Ozi could have battled out Leandri at the final contest instead of her. But notwithstanding all the offsetting remarks made towards her victory, suffice it to say that Kamini’s cooking skills were nothing less than exemplary and that she deservedly won the title—no arguing!

Interesting news for those who love the show is that every season of MasterChef South Africa series comes with a cook book. Included in this book are some of the best recipes that were showcased by all the contestants—straight from the auditions, the pressure as well as the invention tests, all through to the final showdown. So if you really want to be part of this big TV series in South Africa come next year, the book can be a good kicker for you as you make the preparations. Now that leads us to the big question, what does it take for one to qualify for this competition?

Well, the competition doesn’t necessitate much for one to qualify as an active contestant in the show. As long as you’re over 18-years of age and have all the legal documents to prove that you’re indeed a South African, then all you got to do is show up during the Auditions—held in Durban and Johannesburg–and showcase your cooking talent.

For the viewers of this program, M-NET usually rolls out an opportunity to award some of the loyal viewers through a weekly random SMS draw that awards the winners with a shitload of prizes. The competition is open for absolutely anyone as long as you’re over the legal age of 18 years. But most importantly, you’re also not supposed to be an employee of Distell. Likewise, you must neither be an immediate family member to any of Distell’s employees, nor be working with any of their associates—such as their advertising agencies and outlet owners.

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