Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
1 Apr 2022
10:16 am

Pressure-packed Masterchef SA has a new ‘top cook’

Sandisiwe Mbhele

The season finale of Masterchef SA kept audiences on the edge of their seats on Thursday evening.

Masterchef SA finale three Andriette, Shawn and Tarryn. PIcture: Twitter @MasterchefSA

After having battled it out with 20 other contestants, the fourth winner of Masterchef SA was announced on Thursday evening. 

Contestants were under a lot of pressure during the fourth season having had to face numerous challenges during the competition including the dreaded elimination challenges

The final three contestants who competed for the coveted title of ‘Masterchef SA’ were 25 old-year-old senior researcher Tarryn, 32-year-old baker Andriette and entrepreneur Shawn. 

The finale was a two-part challenge where the trio had to recreate a dish they weren’t given a recipe for within 60 minutes.

The challenge came with a bit of an adventurous twist as the the top three travelled to the West Coast town of Paternoster to receive a masterclass from renowned chef Kobus van der Merwe.

His restaurant Wolfgat was voted the best restaurant in Africa and one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. 

The contestants watched Kobus demonstrate and cook his own take on the classic South African dish, bobotie. Unbeknown to them at the time, Tarryn and Andriette would have to recreate this dish to meet Shawn in the finale as he had immunity from the challenge. 

Andriette’s bobotie was the closest to Kobus’s dish as the judges’ Chef Zola Nene, food editor and author Justine Drake and award-winning Chef Gregory Czarnecki thought her replication was better which led to Tarryn being eliminated. 

The final two

In the second part of the challenge, Shawn and Andrirette had two hours to create a main and dessert that could win them the grand prize of R1 million including prizes from Pick n Pay and Hisense appliances. 

Shawn’s strength lies in savoury dishes whilst Andriette is better with desserts. 

Andriette had access to all the ingredients available in the Masterchef pantry and decided on a vegetarian main, which consisted of a butternut steak, asparagus, red pepper sauce, ricotta and smoked chimichurri.

The cook, who loves vegetarian food, wanted to take a risk on her dish, something the judges thought was quite brave as her plating was beautiful. 

Her custard cake with lemon curd, meringue shards, peppermint cream, fennel flowers and raspberries was praised by the judges as expected.

The judges enjoyed the fennel flavour as Andriette’s new skills shone through in her final dish. 

Shawn’s main meal was a reinterpreted roast pork belly.

The pork tenderloin, quail egg, with crackling crumb, smoked apple puree, bacon, charred leek and creme fraiche ticked all the boxes.

Chef Gregory said cooking the quail eggs was the best decision Shawn made but the smoked apple puree was overpowering. 

His dessert was a malva pudding lemon custard, which Chef Kobus said was light,  fluffy and not overly sweet.

With anticipation building, the judges announced that Shawn was the winner of MasterChef SA 2022. 

Chef Zola praised both contestants growth in the competition and the skills they implemented. 

Speaking after his win, the home cook said he hopes he made his children proud and was still in total shock after they handed him the trophy. 

“In four words for me, it has been passion, love, friends and family.” Shawn said the best part was learning how he could improve every day and studied as much as he could.

His dream is to work on a travel and food destination cooking show.