MasterChef 2 episode 14: double whammy


Judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s ominous tweet ahead of last night’s pressure test was the perfect teaser: “You’ve gotta watching tonight’s episode of MasterChef SA. We’ve got something dastardly up our sleeves.” And so Herman, Ozzy, Mary, Amanda and Khumo couldn’t believe their ears when they heard what they were in for. Judge Andrew Atkinson gleefully announced the mystery chef whose dish they faced was Eat Out Chef of the Year for 2010, David Higgs of The Saxon. The other contestants looked shell-shocked, in awe of Chef Higgs whose signature style of cooking is to showcase South African products in a modern contemporary way.

Main course

“Tricky and technical”

Chef David Higgs described the task ahead as tricky and technical. It wasn’t only a true test of skill, but also a dish put together by himself and one of South Africa’s leading pastry chefs. And then the big reveal: a liquorice macaroon with litchi panna cotta, litchi sorbet and black crumble. You felt the tension come through the TV screen and Joani was probably not far off the mark when she compared the dish to a painting, describing David Higgs as one of the top artists in the country. Ozzy looked like he wanted the earth to open up and swallow him when heard the words “panna cotta”.

“Dining is more than food; dining is about the whole experience and feeling the space,” said David.

The contestants hustled and bustled through the pressure test and there were many moments of panic, and having to start over on some of the elements. Time was ticking in what seemed like the impossible task. It was Herman’s first pressure test; Khumo was mentally prepared for anything to happen; while Mary didn’t want to go home.


“The proof is in the pudding”

Amanda was first up it the all-important taste test with the judges. David said one of the elements that let her down was the macaroon, but the panna cotta was “near perfect” and Pete Goffe-Wood declared it a “valiant effort”. Next up was Herman. Chef didn’t look impressed with the presentation: it lacked texture, his panna cotta didn’t hold and he didn’t follow through on the elements of the dish as a whole. Nineteen-year-old Khumo was very nervous during her tasting, but got mostly positive feedback from the judging panel. Mary definitely felt the pressure in the kitchen and didn’t make the sugar shard for the dish because time had run out. However, her panna cotta was perfect, the sorbet passed muster, and the judges like the dish overall. Finally, Ozzy. His panna cotta “curse” hovered from Tuesday night’s episode and he broke down before the judges. Judge Andrew Atkinson said he should feel proud of himself after tasting his dish.

Having gone last before the judges, Ozzy was the first to be declared safe. Then the judges gave Mary her marching orders and she took the news in her stride. Amanda, Khumo and Herman were left standing and then Judge Benny delivered the blow… Herman was the next casualty.

Next week, it’s back to team challenges.

After-dinner cheese

“My panna cotta has just set into panna puddles,” said Ozzy.

By Priscilla Urquhart

Tune in next Wednesday morning for a run-down of Tuesday night’s episode, and check out our MasterChef SA page, sponsored by Nederburg, for weekly updates.

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