MasterChef SA: No women, no braai

2012-04-04 10:52
Jana Breytenbach
Cape Town - South Africans are accustomed to men standing around the fire to braai while women sit and talk.

Of course it doesn't have to be like this, but most women will testify that when trying to interfere with a man's braaing methods, you take your life in your own hands.

And now, on MasterChef SA, a few women received the opportunity to show how it should be done...

Natalie Turnbull, one of the contestants, was very nervous when she had to braai for the first time on Tuesday, but at the end rejoiced that women can do it too.

'Not a precise science'

South Africa's master braaier Jan Braai, or rather John Scannell, said that after Tuesday's episode the battle between the sexes are over once and for all. "I think the hatchet is buried and the women proved they could braai just as well as men. And it is great!

"They had great ingredients and I wouldn't have just made one dish, but three."

The only thing he pitied the contestants for was that they had to braai with charcoal rather than wood.

"For me, braai is not a precise science. One shouldn't overcook the meat. It should always be pink in the middle. But to conjure up a dish in 45 minutes that must meet five-star quality is difficult."

'I expected more'

Seven contestants were voted out on Tuesday. Turnbull, Callie-Anne Rodger, Bruce Robertson, Cameron Whitlie, Elton Gordon, Bongumusa Khuzwayo and Timothy Govender's braai abilities did not impress the judges.

Dax Villanueva, food writer for, said it's a challenge to cook food on a fire, because one must know how to handle the heat source.

"I expected more from the food the participants had to prepare, because the challenge was to cook for a five-star restaurant."

Villanueva said the programme is still focusing on the drama and as the series progresses, the focus will be placed on the food.

Next week the top 18 contestants will be cooking in the MasterChef test kitchen at the Nederburg Wine Estate.

MasterChef SA airs on Tuesdays at 19:30 on M-Net and M-Net HD and repeats on Wednesdays at 07:30 and 17:00.



  • Vaaldonkie - 2012-04-04 12:20

    I braai with gas and light a fire purely for the ambience. Sometimes, when I'm in one of those moods, I braai steaks on the thin firestarter wood. When the fire's good and ready, I'm already done. It blows my guests' minds.

  • tamboerw - 2012-04-04 12:38

    Braai?, Weber is a Barbeque

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-04-04 12:48

    If they had put the judges on the braai that would have been a great step.

  • Jill - 2012-04-04 15:27

    John, who said "it should ALWAYS be pink in the middle"??? I have been reliably informed by a Chef that the correct terminology to use is "not overcooked" and that is the term the chefs used last night - I believe that the true art of a braai is cooking the meat to the perfection of the eater and on a charcoal braai that is not easy to do (especially with a couple of Chivas in you), so braaiing is, indeed, an art ONE WHICH LADIES CAN DO VERY WELL THANK YOU!!

  • stefandv - 2012-04-04 15:41

    Last night's episode was quite enjoyable. Aside from the debate whether it was really a braai if the contestants were forced to cook in a weber with charcoal - if the judges could be more natural instead of trying to be funny or overly dramatic - the series may turn out to be watchable

  • Lorien - 2012-04-17 10:32

    Hi ek wil die artikel gebruik in my opdrag, maar ek het 'n bladsy nommer nodig, waar die in die beeld gestaan het. Jana as jy my dalk kan sĂȘ asseblief

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