Monday, 3 June 2013

My stint as a Masterchef

Every so often, an invite falls into your inbox that makes your heart leap. You stop what you're doing to take a moment and collect yourself before phoning everyone in your address book and bellowing like a walrus. This was the invite:


Nederburg has chosen you, as one of a few lucky people, to take part in an exciting cook-off at MasterChef South Africa judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Kitchen Cowboys studio in Woodstock, Cape Town!  The event will be hosted by Chef Pete and Nederburg's Winemaster, Razvan Macici, the 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year.

 The day loomed cold and wet but we couldn't care less. Arriving at Kitchen Cowboys - Pete's domain - we were met with a glass of Nederburg bubbly (the very same as was served at our wedding...awwwww). Everyone looked nervous and as we took a look at the pantry and sussed out the wines and kitchen space, I could feel the butterflies changing into full grown awkward penguins in my stomach.

We were told that we would be split into teams of 4, assigned a bottle of wine from a draw and then given 75 minutes to prepare a dish that went perfectly with the wine. I eyed up the competition spotting a number of well-known food bloggers - it was daunting especially with Nederburg's cellarmaster Razvan present and judging.
Mr H and I drew the red ribbon.....Cabernet Sauvignon - the perfect choice for Winter and a wine that I happen to know how to pair. We hurried to our bench and met our other two team mates, Linda from The Squashed Tomato (she and I have been emailing each other for months but had never met face-to-face) and her friend Nici - it was match made in heaven and our perfect menu was:

Seared beef fillet
Potato Dauphinoise
Thyme-buttered caramelised carrots
Red wine jus

Easier said than done and I now have a new-found respect for all Masterchef contestants because 75 minutes is gone in seconds. Before we knew it, they were doing a 10 second countdown and we madly dashed to plate up.

The judges loved the dish- a classic pairing, creamy potatoes, a gorgeous jus and excellent cooking of the beef - Mr H is a legend. But the winning dish went to our neighbours who cooked a delicious curry with their Riesling. I'm pretty sure we came in second though, it was THAT good.


 We left on full stomachs with Le Creuset and Nederburg goodies and with an acute desire to enter Masterchef SA for real. I can't wait to start watching the second season starting 11 June 2013.

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