Who else can believe that there are only 5 Masterchef contestants left in the South African Masterchef kitchen? This is the final stretch to the final … who will be South Africa’s first crowned Masterchef? They are now closer to that final hurdle than ever.
With a world-renowned guest chef, Chef Michel Roux Jr who is presenting the Masterclass of the evening, cooking an interesting Artichoke Heart stuffed with Chicken Mousse and topped with sliced Truffles, the contestants were gob-smacked at the culinary experience and master-tech used by Chef Michel. Acclaimed for his Restaurant and following his father and uncle’s royal footsteps Chef Michel of Restaurant “La Gavroche” embarked on cooking up a texturally explosive meal. Explaining various little details and turning his vegetables in an absolutely professional and ‘master’ manner, Chef Michele boasted that he loves his customers leaving with a smile on their faces but an even more content tummy. Chef Pete also mentioned that having eaten in Chef Michel’s restaurant when he was overseas, that it was one of the most memorable meals he had ever had.
This was not a particularly episode as the masterclass tips were not that many and the evening was in combination with an invention test as well. I must say that the artichokes looked particularly delicious perfectly rounded with a chicken liver topped with chicken mousse and fine truffle shavings. Deena for one, was paying close attention to the techniques that Chef Michele was demonstrating. The judges, typical to the Masterchef franchise, combined their masterclass with an invention test – “Chicken Ballotine.”
Truffles are one of the most expensive ingredients in the kitchen adding a subtle garlicky flavour to your dishes it was advisable to use this ingredient sparingly and with subtlety and class. What was quite interesting is that to cook the artichokes you would have to cover it with clingfilm and steam for 10 minutes, producing a perfectly soft and crunchy chicken liver with a smooth and creamy chicken mousse. The idea here was to taste your dish and to realise the detail in every little step.
First up to the tasting table was Sue-Ann whom tried very hard not to overthink the Ballotine, managed to produce an artichoke very near to Chef Michele’s original preparation. Sarel disappointingly stuffed his chicken with Peppadew and managed to miss the subtle point of the Chicken Ballotine. Llungile, whom was the eliminated contestants of the day, captured the concept and idea of the Chicken Ballotine, but missed the flavour of the dish somewhat. Deena managed to impress all the judges as well as Guest Chef Michele Roux and won the bell of the evening which was quite a prestigious asset for a chef to have.
Llungile was the contestant to leave even though she mentioned that she was hoping to her lucky stars that she would get the Chicken Ballotine just right. Sarel also mentioned that it was quite a privilege to have a judge such as the calibre of Chef Michele Roux at Masterchef South Africa as well as the chef himself mentioning that it was an honour to be in SA and a wonderful experience. It truly is a sign of excellence that SA can boast international chefs and host their skill and experience. Go SA Masterchef … We want more!
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