Tarryn and Diego, the last pair of home cooks who will set up an Instant Restaurant in the first round of M-Net’s hot local cooking competition, My Kitchen Rules SA, have a simple mission: to beat the 52 points achieved by Minnie and Tee’s African-themed “Feel at Home” efforts last week.
That will be enough for the Johannesburg-based team to enter the second round. If they fail, they can pack up their dicers and graters and pairing knives and kiss the chance of entering the hallowed MKR Kitchen HQ, goodbye.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being the last pair to show off one’s expertise to the celebrity judges, J’Something and David Higgs, and one’s fellow competitors.
Minnie and Tee’s venture was a new low, which means three pairs are assured of a place in the next round. Soon-to-be-engaged couple Kim and Pashi remain firmly at the top of the leader board, Rox and Spoen are out of the danger zone and Jalal and Adrie are safe in second place. This might just make them a teeny bit more generous in their appraisal of Tarryn and Diego’s cooking. On the other hand, the benchmark for excellence was set earlier in the series. If Tarryn and Diego don’t match it, it will be abundantly clear for all to see – and taste.
Last Sunday (24 June) saw bubbly millennials Minnie and Tee crash spectacularly. Their decision to prepare traditional fare sounded promising, but looked rather amateurish on the night, and unsuited to the high stakes.
Minnie and Tee prepared Amadumbe Gnocchi with white sauce and a hint of chilli for their starter, which lacked visual appeal and fell short on flavour. The consensus around the table was that although it was a bland dish, the attempt was daring and laudable.
For their main course, the pair served Inyama Yezimbambo nePapa Elinongwe – old-style “pap-en-vleis” – with an urban chakalaka salsa, which was well received by all but certainly not the kind of dish one expects to see in a cooking competition. Said judge J’Something: “For me, what you’ve done tonight is something I would perceive as a little daunting – to put pap-en-vleis on a plate of food for a competition with R1-million rand in prize money. The basting was lovely, taste was good. We ended up with a plate of food that was well balanced from a food point of view, so I enjoyed it – thank you.”
Dessert was Isijingi with berry sauce and, unfortunately for them, the modern twist on the traditional dessert didn’t work and the guests around the table didn’t appreciate the flavours or textures. Hardly the happy ending Minnie and Tee had hoped for.
Tune in this Sunday, 1 July, to see if Tarryn and Diego’s spicy feast will be enough to keep them in the My Kitchen Rules SA competition.
My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/mkr to watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA on the official M-Net Facebook page.