Leandri vs Kamani, who will win MasterChef SA?

MCSAIt’s the big showdown, the moment millions have been waiting for. Who between Leandri van der Wat and Kamani Pather will be the new MasterChef SA winner? I cannot believe the season is just about done, but by this time tomorrow we’ll know who the new MasterChef winner will be.

I’d try and guess, but it’s too close to call. Do you have a favourite? Do you think you know who will walk off with the title? If so, sound off in the comment section below. Otherwise, I’ll bring you all the action tomorrow. Just follow me on Twitter: @JasonVonBerg, as I tweet up a storm for the finale tomorrow night. I’ll also be interviewing the winner on Thursday morning, so if you have questions holler!

Until then, may the best chef win 😉

Media Statement: MasterChef

This week’s South Africa’s first MasterChef was crowned. His name is Deena Naidoo. The 45-year-old was pretty stoked and emotional when the news was announced on Tuesday last week. His reaction was genuine and he seemed so grateful for the all the prizes that amounted to over R8million…. and then came the Citizen’s article on Friday. They claimed he wasn’t happy with the situation and how things had rolled out, particularly with the Mondovino restaurant prize. A classic case of being misquoted perhaps? Here’s an official statement from M-Net and Tsogo Sun:


Friday, 27 July, 2012


M-Net and Tsogo Sun refute claims made by the Citizen newspaper today that MasterChef South Africa winner Deena Naidoo is disappointed with his prize package, and that he will not be getting his own restaurant. This is factually incorrect.


The total restaurant prize included (amongst other things) the full-time running and rebranding of the floor space. This arrangement was rent free, for two years. However, M-Net and Tsogo Sun structured the sponsorship to permit the MasterChef winner to choose between various options of participation in the restaurant, knowing that the winner might not be able to take up such a fantastic prize.


Deena elected a joint venture operation where he will share in the restaurant profits and partake in the rebranding and relaunch of the restaurant. This will run for two years. This decision was based on the fact that Deena, his wife and children are unable to relocate to Johannesburg at this time.


“I consider myself privileged and am extremely grateful to have won this prize. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Naidoo. “At no point have I ever been disappointed with the arrangement I have with M-Net and Tsogo Sun. In fact, they have been extremely accommodating and flexible and are allowing me the chance to run this restaurant whilst keeping my current job in Durban. Tsogo Sun appreciates that my family comes first. I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with them.”


M-Net and Tsogo Sun explained the terms and options available to the Top 2 contestants while the series was still being filmed, and all parties were fully aware of what they would be entering into, should they win the prize, which consists of: R250 000 in cash, a brand new car, a trip to Italy and an Italian cooking course, a year’s free supply of wine and a sommelier course, as well as the Tsogo Sun restaurant opportunity.


Naidoo adds, “I never expected to have R8 million in my bank account and any reports that suggest this are simply untrue. I wanted to clear up the misconception that this might be the case, and in the process, it was asserted that I’ve been let down by M-Net and Tsogo Sun. This is inaccurate.”


Naidoo will embark on his restaurant adventure in November.

Watch HalfArsed- a Chef episode 2

Check out an all new episode of HalfArsed-a Chef brought to you by NoMU. In this episode the contestants can like to be participating in The Gumboot Puree Challenge. Warning when attempting this at home, be sure to take caution.

If you missed the premier episode last week, check it out below:

Will you be South Africa’s first Masterchef?

After the resounding success of the hugely popular MasterChef Australia (and 32 other countries), the peops at M-Net have decided it is time to bring it to South Africa – and not they’re on the search to find the contestants who will be in the running to be South Africa’s first

M-Net’s Channel Head Pierre Cloete says that the entry process has been made as efficient as possible: “The MasterChef series has proven to be so popular around the world and with M-Net viewers that we expect a lot of interest in the show. As such, we’ve tried to keep the entry process for wannabe contestants as easy as possible. We have introduced a simple pre-entry mechanism. All that contestants need to do is fill out their entry forms as accurately as possible, and wait for our notification with more details about auditions. This will allow them a fast track through the registration process on their audition day. After that it’s purely down to the cooking!”

You can pre-enter online now until the 14th of November by visiting www.mnet.co.za. Just follow the MasterChef links and you could be in the running. You can also enter by completing the entry forms in YOU, Huisgenoot or Drum magazines and follow.

MasterChef South Africa will be holding open auditions in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town this December at the following venues:

JOHANNESBURG: Saturday, 3 December at Monte Casino

CAPE TOWN: Saturday, 10 December at The Cullinan, Southern Sun Hotel

DURBAN: Saturday, 17 December at the Sun Coast Hotel and Casino

What will you be expected to do? You will be asked to prepare a cold dish, which will be tasted by a member of the MasterChef SA professional preliminary judging panel. There are certain requirements for the dish as stipulated below:

  • One must bring all products in an insulated cooler to maintain the cold chain.
  • Products not suitably chilled will result in the judges not tasting your dish; which could mean disqualification.
  • One must transport all food products in plastic containers.
  • Glass containers will not be allowed in the competition area.
  • Present your dish on a plain white plate that you have brought with you.
  • NO actual cooking is allowed; the dish must be a cold dish.
  • All that is required of you is to plate the food on the dish and then present to the judges within the time limit given.

Contestants must also be able to make themselves available for possible callback auditions the following day.