MASTERCHEF SEASON 3 - EPISODE 7
After exploring the essence of the Karoo’s cuisine and saying farewell to Ndumiso last week the MasterChef contestants met in Durban for their first Team Challenge of Season 3. The Top 10 nominated Penny (31), the teacher from Durban and Philippa (48), the life skills lecturer from Johannesburg to lead the Blue and Red teams respectively, and met the MasterChef judges in the kitchen of The Grill Jichana restaurant in the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel on Durban’s Golden Mile.
Once the MasterChef judges had greeted the contestants, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood stepped forward to let the contestants know what lay ahead: serving a table of hungry customers, Gueridon style. He explained that Gueridon Service is a celebration of the theatre of food, with each meal prepared right in front of your guests.
The MasterChefs knew that this challenge was going to push each and every one of them to their limit, especially because they had no experience with this style of service. When Pete finished explaining what was expected, he told the teams that they needed to organise themselves and identified the intricacies of what was expected. Each team needed a meat griller, a fish griller, someone on the pass, a waiter to take the orders and serve the food, and someone to man the Gueridon trolley. Both teams looked nervous and as always, there was a twist; the teams would be serving professional waiters with up to 500 years of combined experience in the service industry.
Penny (the leader of the Blue Team) divided up her team and explained their roles with confidence. She was on the pass, Francois was responsible for the red meat, Roxi would be doing the fish, Siphokazi had to flambé the sauces, and Refilwe was the waiter. On the Red Team Ian was on the meat, Abi took care of the fish, Melissa was on the pass, Claire was garçon and Philippa (the Red Team leader) handled the Gueridon trolley. “These professionals have up to fifty years’ experience in the top restaurants in Durban,” Pete reminded the MasterChefs, “and for a change, they’re going to be on the receiving end and they’re going to expect perfection.” The challenge began smoothly, and the first set of orders started rolling in.
Curious about the quality of the contestant’s service, MasterChef judges Benny and Reuben checked in with some of the Blue and Red team’s guests and the reviews were all glowing, except for a little lack of seasoning at one of the tables. Suddenly the pressure was on when one of the Blue Team’s steaks was sent back to the kitchen because it was too rare! Francois (the Blue Team’s meat man) did his best to get the steak out as fast as possible - perfectly cooked, and when it went back to the table the client told Benny that he was happy. However, Judge Benny reprimanded the Blue Team for keeping one guest waiting while the others enjoyed their food. The challenge was still far from over when the teams prepared for the second wave of orders and Claire (the Red Team’s garçon) was confident that her team had taken the lead. She knew that the Blue Team had made a serious mistake by undercooking a client’s steak.
When all was said and done a wave of relief rushed over both teams and Chef Pete congratulated the MasterChefs for looking very comfortable in a professional kitchen. But, this is MasterChef and there can only be one winner. Slowly but surely, the teams’ special guests started to vote and the battle for first place began.
Initially the Blue Team took the lead with the first four votes, but the Red Team caught up to them fast thanks to Ian’s expert ability to grill steak and Francois’ medium rare catastrophe. It was a tense time in the competition with both teams out in front at different points throughout the voting process. It was a show that came down to the wire, but finally there was a winner, with the Red Team received the deciding vote.
At the end of the show, the Red Team’s hard work and team spirit paid off, and earned them some well-deserved time to relax and unwind at one of the Kwazulu-Natal’s most beautiful offerings: a vegetarian oasis.
Sadly, for the losing Blue Team, an Elimination Challenge awaits.