Durban Does it Again!!
Our proud girl from Durban Roxi Wardman, train driver assistant who loves wearing leopard print has become South Africa’s new MasterChef in a dramatic live broadcast from the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, when she narrowly beat Cape Town domestic worker Siphokazi Mdlankomo by just eight points.
All three MasterChef South Africa Winners come from Durban. First winner was Deena Naidoo, the IT specialist who won the title in an emotional nail biting finale.
Second was Kamini Pather, the quiet, unassuming contestant who shone from the start. Even though Kamini moved to Cape Town she was born and schooled in our beautiful city. And now our vibrant, colourful Roxi who takes the third title!
Sipho and Roxi battled it out for last time in the MasterChef kitchen for a marathon three-challenge showdown, cheered on by their nearest and dearest and all of their fellow Top 12 contestants.
First up was the final Invention Test of the season, in which the two finalists had 90 minutes to prepare a restaurant-quality dish featuring quintessential South African food.
Sipho prepared traditional samp, infused in saffron and coconut milk, which she served with mutton curry and a bean and cucumber sambal and a banana sambal.
Roxi presented individual little boboties with traditional yellow rice and date and apricot chutneys as well as two sambals: quince, and onion and carrot.
The second round was a Dessert Mystery Box containing butter, self-raising flour, milk, cream, amasi, castor sugar, basmati rice, sultanas, eggs, geranium leaves, granadillas, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, fynbos honey, and white wine vinegar.
Sipho and Roxi had 60 minutes to come up with an impressive dessert using every single one of those ingredients in some way. “It’s my worst nightmare,” confessed Sipho. “I’m competing with the Dessert Queen.”
Roxi presented a lamington made with rice flour, along with a fudge crumble and a passion fruit and amasi granita.
Sipho’s dessert was a crème patisserie tart with granola and a passion fruit and amasi sorbet, which earned her rave reviews, despite a slightly runny crème pat.
And for the third challenge the judges had a surprise for the two finalists, as well as all the other aspiring chefs in the kitchen – a “cook-off” alongside one of the world’s culinary legends: Chef Marco Pierre White.
Sipho and Roxi had to work alongside Chef Marco and follow his example step-by-step to cook a sumptuous dish of roast rump of lamb on the bone, with mussels in a white wine sauce.
At the end of a nerve-wracking cooking session all four chefs judged the finalists’ finished dishes. Chef Marco thought Sipho’s lamb was slightly overcooked “but that doesn’t offend me”, he said. “She’s cooked her mussels well. She did a very, very, very good job.”
He was similarly pleased with Roxi’s effort. “I think her cooking of the lamb is very good,” he told the other judges.
Social media networks were abuzz with excitement as the final scoring happened in secret. The show then crossed live to the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, where the final scores were revealed: 67 points to Siphokazi and 75 points to Roxi. It was a nerve wrecking wait for the announcement.
As South Africa’s new MasterChef, Roxi walks off with R500 000 in cash from Robertson’s, a brand new VW Tiguan, R100 000 worth of food from Woolworths, a trip to the French winelands for her and a partner, as well as a year’s worth of wines from Nederburg, and a glamorous five night stay at the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa in the Seychelles, courtesy of Tsogo Sun.
Many wanted the domestic worker Sipho to win. Don’t worry Sipho doesn’t go home empty-handed, she takes home R100 000, courtesy of Robertson’s.