MasterChef SA impresses viewers, critics

2012-03-22 07:43
Richard Roberts
Cape Town - The first episode of MasterChef SA aired on Tuesday with experts and food enthusiasts being very pleased with the show.

Only 50 of the 100 amateur chefs could go through to the next round - the MasterChef Bootcamp.

The chefs have to prepare dishes with secret ingredients for 18 weeks to impress judges Benny Masekwameng, Andrew Atkinson and Pete Goffe-Wood.


Sonia Cabano, chef, food writer and social media manager of Robertson's Spices, said she and her family and friends gathered early in the evening ready to watch the programme. "I know many of the contestants."

About the first episode she said: "I think it's well done, exciting and has a strong local flavour.

"I like the judges, they are people you will either hate or love a lot, and that's the attraction."

More South African food

Carmen Niehaus, food editor of magazines Huisgenoot and You, said she was equally excited about the programme.

"I think it's a much more exciting series than Australia's, because there are so many familiar factors.

"The judges are a good combination, they provide varied comments and they do not always agree.

"The dishes that I saw were good, I would've liked to see more South African food."

The second episode airs Tuesday March 27 at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv channel 101).


  • Charmaine - 2012-03-22 08:06

    I enjoyed it so far, just dissapointed that is only once a week was hoping it would be daily like the Aus one - but looks like it will be quite good - gets a thumbs up from me :)

      Chris - 2012-03-22 10:39

      The judges are trying to emulate the Australian judges, facial expressions et al ,

  • Robert - 2012-03-22 08:37

    Amazing how the "viewers" who love the show are all sponsors...

      Olive - 2012-03-22 08:43

      LOL so true - it's a load of rubbish, Contestants are fun and the show is more exciting than Australian masterchef OMW - I managed to watch 10 minutes and couldn't take it anymore,I really did try to watch. BORING!!!!

  • Helmut - 2012-03-22 08:43

    The judges acting is like a puppet on a string,i hope there getting more relaxed.Adds are the biggerst part of the show.Until now it's wishi woshi.

  • Kosta - 2012-03-22 08:48

    LIERS!!!!! We all know it was predictable and crap!!! I haven't heard one good thing.

      Chez - 2012-03-22 10:51

      Oh you haven't? Well here's one then. It was good. So nice to hear South African accents instead of the hideous Ozzie's. i could identify with the contestents and already have my favourite. I doubt he'll win but the last guy, the dishwasher from Cape Town is just too sweet for words. Love the show and won't miss an episode. There Kosta, happy now?

      violet.bossut - 2012-03-22 11:36

      @Kosta learn to spell. Give the bloody show ance. You people always have to dis anything that is South African. And hello I am not a sponsor.

      Carlos - 2012-03-22 14:51

      @violet.bossut - learn to spell? Pray tell what "ance" and "dis" mean? Have you heard of glasshouses and stones?

  • Claire - 2012-03-22 08:52


  • Hannetjie - 2012-03-22 08:54

    I liked parts of the show but agree it was not really exciting!!! One of two contestants I thought should not have made it through to the next round - the judging should have been on the specific dish served and not anything other!!!! Looking forward to more interesting comments as the show continues.

  • sudika.harkhu - 2012-03-22 08:57

    Its sad that SABC couldn't get the rights to this one (like most things anyway), most of the population misses out.

      kaMazibuko - 2012-03-22 09:22

      SABC can still buy the rights to broadcast this at a later stage, if they do it for soccer why not this....anyway it doesnt matter when they show it coz when you look at BBC they sometimes show the first season of Masterchef UK

      Andres - 2012-03-22 10:24

      It's an MNET produced show, so it's not about rights. It's like MNET trying to broadcast Isidingo. The network itself contracted the show's production.

      kaMazibuko - 2012-03-22 14:30

      @Andres i get what you're trying to say, but u must look at the global model of how tv shows are traded...for example MNET broadcasts many shows that companies like HBO,CBS, FOX etc have commissioned so why not apply that here in SA ? Similar arrangement is there for soccer so if the show is good why not expand it to more viewers? It might be difficult though for MNET to give this to the SABC seeing that their sister channel is a direct rival of SABC 1

  • Susan - 2012-03-22 09:02

    There is nothing world class about Master Chef SA, have you seen the Black Judge taking one of the contestants turkey burger for dinner, so cheap...

      Moi - 2012-03-22 09:10

      Oh please, it's a compliment to the contestant. Her burger was that good that he ate all of it.

      kaMazibuko - 2012-03-22 09:24

      Ure either a very racist person or a very stupid one SMDH

      veronica.deanboshoff - 2012-03-22 09:43

      In MasterChef Australia exactly the same thing happened, so what is the problem? I think it's a great compliment!

      Sekalf - 2012-03-22 09:45

      Hey, we are in South Africa - eventual we will find a racial touch to everything - even a stupid cooking show!

      atomasicchio - 2012-03-22 10:03

      So what? I would have done the same, if it was that good!

      Andres - 2012-03-22 10:25

      @Susan: Really? Brain fart much? Please, go live in Orania. You give pale people a terrible name.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-22 09:10

    I dont like the way the judges sound like they have lines, like they being told what to say per dish, surely its their own unique thoughts we should be hearing? so why does it sound rehersed?

      sandra.makhatini - 2012-03-22 10:41

      yes, it sounds too scripted. it should be more "organic"

      Charmaine - 2012-03-22 12:29

      They chef's not actors, probably nervous, I am hoping they will lossen up a bit - but I am enjoying it.

  • Moi - 2012-03-22 09:12

    I'm still undecided. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't great either. The judges seem to be trying a tad too hard for the "dramatic" element.

      Susan - 2012-03-22 13:03

      so now you change your mind..never consistent...

  • kaMazibuko - 2012-03-22 09:20

    I thought it was brilliant, not sure if its gonna be as good as the Australian one but I'm sure its way better the the sub standard USA version. I wanna see more of Sanjeev, funny dude. Going forward id like to see more local cuisine Go Mzansi!!!

      Charmaine - 2012-03-22 12:30

      The US version was so about ratings and not the love of food - I hated the US one

  • veronica.deanboshoff - 2012-03-22 09:40

    If only we could kill those terrible South African accents!!

      soraya.arendse - 2012-03-22 09:56

      Now that is one stupid remark, are we supposed to sound american or australian or wait maybe we should be english. get a life girl, we south african and proud.

      atomasicchio - 2012-03-22 10:04

      Goodness how do you manage to live in SA then???

      sandra.makhatini - 2012-03-22 10:45

      for whose sake? to please you?

      Chez - 2012-03-22 10:55

      So leave the place you snobby c*w. The accent is one of the things i love about the show. Why do so many S.A's critisize so much? Thats the way we talk. Its way better than the ozzie accent and most of the poms too.

      Charmaine - 2012-03-22 12:31

      Jislikit man the SA accent is kiff!

      antoinette.jordaan - 2012-03-22 18:57

      Now that was a really silly thing to say on a South African site. I love the ZA accent, and I miss it when I don't hear it. From under which rock are you?

  • taryn.tavares - 2012-03-22 09:44

    I enjoyed the show but felt the judges where fake and trying to hard to act a certain way.

      soraya.arendse - 2012-03-22 09:58

      Hopefully they will be more relaxed next week, and the one judge can open his eyes when he's tasting.

  • solverman - 2012-03-22 09:48

    The Judges.... what a laugh..... what a load of crap......

  • Ann - 2012-03-22 09:55

    I loved the first episode of Masterchef SA! Am looking forward to an exciting and fun-filled series. It's a great opportunity to identify & develop local talent. Go for it, contestants!

  • Kathleen - 2012-03-22 09:56

    I was rather perturbed that the one contestant had his finger bandaged and still mixed up the salad. He should have not been allowed to participate.

      E - 2012-03-22 11:36

      Saw a chef cut her hand badly on a US cooking contest show recently - she calmly bandaged her finger & put on surgical gloves & went on cooking - good idea for any kitchen

      antoinette.jordaan - 2012-03-22 18:58

      What I'd like to know is how you continue? On that show Chopped, i've seen some serious blood flow.....that would just freak me out if that's my blood flowing ...... :D

  • Edson Zandamela - 2012-03-22 10:06

    Ah I missed it.

  • atomasicchio - 2012-03-22 10:07

    I was impressed with the food that I saw on the show. I didn't expect to see so much culinary talent, but I would have prefered more SA food. The judges overdid it at times, but the Australians and American judges were no better. For me the ads were the most annoying, just get on with the show please!

  • Omrisho - 2012-03-22 10:14

    found it to be rather ho-hum and luke warm imo... will watch a few more episodes to see how it develops. agree with some comments that the judges seem to be trying too hard and it comes across as though they are following the script. a little bit more natural responses would help to make it a bit more authentic. hope that they manage to iron out the teething problems otherwise it's going to be another channel for me i'm afraid

  • Dave - 2012-03-22 10:16

    Are the Judges trying to win Oscars for their poor acting performances. Be natural and judge the contestants

  • mike.mcfadyean - 2012-03-22 10:33

    Production value is excellent but the judges are going to be hard to get used to. They are far too self-conscious and contrived. It comes across as too rehearsed and over-thought. I also thought that part where the guy who supposedly washes dishes in a restaurant and was put through because of his "potential" (and blubbering tears) was utter drivel. Designed for an "ag shame" moment. I smell a rat.....!

      sandra.makhatini - 2012-03-22 11:21

      I agree about the judges, but I disagree about the dishwasher. I think all reality competitions (Idols, SYTYCD, The Voice, X Factor etc) have that component where you find someone who may seem less talented, but has some story that melts your heart and you root for them. They may be "weaker" & different in some way: very young, very old, physically differently abled, recovering addict, poverty stricken than most. They tend to show more passion, belief, hunger, determination, diligence, potential and if steered in the right direction, they can be great! However, very few grow exceptionally enough during the show to go on to win, but I think that human element makes for good TV. TV is about ratings as well, remember. We'd like to see personalities like that lively, charismatic Indian guy, Sanjeev, I think, but at the very end, yes, we want exceptional talent - not comedy, beauty, charm etc only.

      mike.mcfadyean - 2012-03-22 11:47

      Yup! They got you good with that one. Maybe it's because I've seem this plot a million times in other reality shows. I simply don't trust this to be "reality" and honest. It all seems far too "worthy".

      Helmut - 2012-03-22 12:45

      HI mike agree with you,but what put me realy off,is when the judge mentionet his background and where he is coming from.I like the kid and wish him good luck.

      Tammy - 2012-03-22 17:38

      Its a freaken cooking competition,if he didnt cook well he shouldnt make it threw to the next round simple as that.After i saw that i turned the tv off.

  • Francois - 2012-03-22 10:36

    The judges reminded me of 3 Stooges – for those who can remember them.

  • Nick - 2012-03-22 10:59

    Scallops ? scollops .... what are they and where do you find them in South Africa ? Please help my ignorant brain !

      E - 2012-03-22 11:40

      Shellfish, like oysters, mussels, perlemoen, you know? Look at the Shell oil company logo, and you will know what they look like (except mostly white shell). The meat is white & slightly sweet-tasting.

      Charmaine - 2012-03-22 12:33

      You can buy them at Checkers

      antoinette.jordaan - 2012-03-22 19:00

      Yeah - it's not really that well known here..... :) C'mon guys, be nice......I saw scallops for the first time on BBC Food. To me it seems a tad on the pretentious side...........

  • Julie - 2012-03-22 14:41

    If only there were not such a lot of crap in between (advertisements)

  • Maya - 2012-03-22 14:56

    First episode of MC is always sadly boring, filled with crying, annoying people trying to make an impression. Absolutely hated that fake german accent chick with the red hair and white african 'fashion' sense. Will give it a couple of more episodes but so far it looks like SA is trying (badly) to emulate the Aussie one. Hopefully it gets more original as the show goes on. Sigh

  • Sindiwe - 2012-03-22 18:02

    I lost ALL interest in the program when Benny Masekwameng was the only judge to forward a chef with a totally tasteless dish and commented that it was specifically because of his previously disadvantaged background. Not ayoba - I am oh! so sick and tired of this. The aspirant chef should rightfully feel ashamed and humiliated.

  • Henry - 2012-03-22 22:02

    Seriously folks, let's be honest here. If this was an original idea thought up by South Africans, then it would be entertaining...but the fact that we've got to imitate almost every 'reality' show created beyond our shores, and make fools of ourselves while we're at it, shows how gullible we are as a nation when it comes to 'entertainment'

  • Gloria - 2012-03-22 23:10

    What happened to Jeremy Mansfield being a judge? Wish we had better judges. Now I am not looking so forward to the show anymore.

  • nicola.mullin1 - 2012-04-02 14:16 its just warming up peeps give it a chance, once we get to know the contestants etc I am sure it will be every bit as good as the Aussie version, it cant be any worse that USA x

  • felix.calitz - 2012-05-30 17:49

    Sadly not worthy of the Mastechef title...

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