MasterChef Season 3 - Episode 18
It’s time MasterChef South Africa’s last instalment. After a long road, thousands of hopeful entries and only a handful of selected chefs, we are down to the final two: Roxi, the 26 year-old assistant train driver from Durban, and Siphokazi, the 39 year-old domestic worker from Cape Town.
Anticipation poured out of their faces when they walked into the MasterChef kitchen to face their final nerve-wracking challenge, with their families and Season 3’s Top 12 watching them from above.
After the judges expressed their admiration for the contestants, it was time to get down to business. “Up till now you’ve only ever faced one challenge at a time.” Chef Benny explained. “But, this is the MasterChef finale, and it consists of three.” “First up is an Invention Test,” he said. “Then it is a Mystery Box,” Chef Reuben chipped in, before Pete said “And last, a Pressure Test, with a special guest chef, who is an international rock star in the cooking world.” Siphokazi and Roxi would be awarded a score out of 10 for each challenge, and at the end, the competitor with the most points would be crowned South Africa’s new MasterChef.
In the first challenge Siphokazi prepared a Cape Malay Curry with Saffron Infused Samp and Coconut Milk, while Roxi put together a Bobotie on Yellow Rice that was accompanied by two types of Chutney and Sambals. For their food, Roxi received 24 points and Siphokazi, a meagre 20 – it was neck and neck. Both contestants showed signs of bliss and stress.
After a short break, Roxi and Siphokazi returned to their stations for the Mystery Box and their ingredients demanded a dessert, playing to Roxi’s strengths. Roxi made a Lamington with Fudge Crumble and Passion Fruit-And-Amasi Granita that brought her score up to 41 points. Sipho cooked a Crème Pat Tart with Granola and Passion Fruit-And-Amasi Sorbet, which to everyone’s surprise outscored Roxi’s dessert, and brought Siphokazi’s score to 39. They were just two points apart.
By the time it was time for the final showdown, the contestants were exhausted. So, the judges introduced them to the inspirational guest chef that would be guiding them through their final Pressure Test: Chef Marco “Enfant Terrible” Pierre White. And they would be cooking a Roast Rump of Lamb with a Marinière of White Mussels, right beside him. Neither of the contestants managed to keep up with Chef Marco’s pace as he prepared the meal in the cook-along, and 2 minutes before it was time to plate up nobody knew of Roxi was going to make it. But, thankfully, she did.
The judges tasted the food and Chef Marco really enjoyed Sipho’s meal, although he did say that her broth lacked a little oomph. Everyone thought Roxi had overdone her mussels, but when the judges tasted Roxi’s dish, they were full of praise.
Finally, it was time for the judges to deliver their scores.