Lungi let down by celeb MasterChef dish

2012-07-04 07:51

Cape Town - The final 5 in the first season of MasterChef SA were treated to what finalist Deena Naidoo called "culinary royalty" in the form of renowned chef Michel Roux Jr, of La Gavroche, a two Michelin star restaurant in London.

He led the cooking hopefuls through a unique Masterclass, teaching them how to prepare his restaurant's signature dish: stuffed artichokes with chicken livers, chicken mousse and truffles in a Madeira sauce.

There was an additional test for the amateur chefs when they were asked to not only prepare the artichokes dish, but also an accompaniment to it: Chicken Ballotine. Finalist Sarel Loots realised the magnitude of the challenge ahead of the five: "It’s an Invention Test on top of a recipe! It’s huge!"

Chef Michel, who has also appeared as an expert judge on the British edition of MasterChef and the BBC's new front-of-house restaurant service show called Service, put the pressure on the final 5 from the start.

"I am looking for perfection," he said. "I want to see a ballotine that works beautifully with the wonderful flavours of the truffles in the artichokes."

'An unbelievable day'

The stakes were high for this particular challenge - the dish judged to be the best of the bunch would also get an advantage for the next challenge in the form of a bell! This bell would grant the winner the opportunity to ring it once in the next challenge and call on any of the judges for advice on their dish.

After an epic cooking session which saw each of the finalists complete their dish, Chef Michel said told the hopefuls, "You cooked from the heart and it has been an unbelievable day for me. A day that will stay with me in my memory forever."

At the judges' table, Deena and Manisha were praised for their superb ballotines, but in the end it was 40-year-old IT Specialist Deena who was awarded the coveted bell - and Michel advised him to use it wisely.

A tearful Lungi, a 21-year-old fashion graduate from Durban, confessed to the judges that her cauliflower mousse creation was a flop, leaving her ballotine with "a big hole in it", as Chef Pete Goffe-Wood put it.

After being consoled by Chef Benny Masekwameng and praised for her idea by Michel, Lungi was asked to leave the MasterChef Kitchen.

"I can leave this competition and be recognised as a cook, not just the young contestant who constantly have to prove herself," said Lungi on her departure. "I am leaving as a mature young woman. It really has been an amazing road of self-discovery."

* MasterChef SA airs on M-Net and M-Net HD on Tuesdays at 19:30 and is available On Demand.


  • chris.priilaid - 2012-07-04 09:11

    Except, in London he uses Foie Gras and not chicken livers.....We had lunch there for 2 and bill was 500 quid....eee! was brilliant though. Just the servers clothing looked a bit tired.

      Cheryl Charmaine Richards - 2012-07-04 10:46

      hi Lungi you have been a star through out the competition we've said last week it does not matter who wins it you all deserve it good luck

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