Monday, July 31, 2017

Meet the first 5 teams of My Kitchen Rules South Africa: Water polo players, book club friends, Bloem besties and a Cradock mom and daughter team.

The first batch of contestants for the first season of My Kitchen Rules South Africa have been revealed and they include water polo players, besties from Bloem, book club friends and a mom and daughter team from Cradock.

The food reality competition show produced by Endemol Shine Africa will start on M-Net (DStv 101) from Sunday 13 August at 18:00 in which several teams of two each, will be battling it out in their kitchens to come up with the best meals.

The knives are out and the kitchens are about to heat up in the latest TV culinary showdown, with J'Something and David Higgs as the judges who will be critiquing every dish served up.

"This competition is about team work for me," says David Higgs, owner of Marble restaurant.

"When one team member is down, it's up to the other one to pick up the pieces and vice versa - that is essentially what a kitchen is all about. And obviously these contestants need to be able to put good plates of food together - consistently. It's going to be fun to watch."

Musician J'Something says he's looking for "South Africans who take home cooking and give it a big helping of finesse - people who are passionate about food and people that can simply put love on a plate".

My Kitchen Rules South Africa will have 18 episodes and there will be 5 teams of 2 people each in the first round of Instant Restaurants. Later there will be 5 more teams of 2 in the second round - exactly like the Australian version.

In the competition each team has a turn to host the judges and the other teams in their group at their own homes which they turn into "Instant Restaurants" - serving up a 3-course meal against the clock.

At the end of each Instant Restaurant evening, the other teams and the judges score each dish out of 10 and at the end of the 5 Instant Restaurants, the team with the lowest score goes home.

What this means is that once My Kitchen Rules SA has gone through all 10 (both groups of 5 pairs), 8 teams will progress to the next round of the competition which will take place in the “Kitchen Headquarters”.

Here couples will compete against each other in various challenges until there are only 2 teams left to battle it out in the finale of the series.

Here's the first 5 My Kitchen Rules SA teams:

Mr & Mrs Bruce (43)  and Claudia (33) (Midrand)
"I am extremely competitive," says Bruce, a multiple world champion in martial arts. He says his mom had a large influence on his passion for cooking "and her Asian roots have also played a big part in our style as a team".

Claudia saw Bruce at a Kung Fu function and "fell instantly in love" with him. "Now we are married with two beautiful boys". She says she's "addicted to trying out new recipes all the time".

Book Club Besties Kelly (46) & Claire (43) (Kyalami)
These two who have been friends for 10 years met at a book club that was organised by a mutual friend.

"Both Kelly and I are competitive," says Claire. "I learnt from an early age that first is everything, second is nothing!"

Mother & daughter Lani (51) & Louzel (26) (Cradock)
"She sometimes let out a swear word or two. But I am her mother and I can tell her not to do that!" says Eastern Cape mom Lani of her daughter Louzel who lives in Cape Town with her husband.

"I think the fact that I'm cooking with my mom is not only an advantage, but a massive privilege," says Louzel.

"We have the same basic understanding and respect for food and our different abilities compliment that. The fact that we're from a small farming community has also created opportunities for us to think outside of the box when it comes to cooking."

Water polo buddies Rein (33) & Rowan (35) (Krugersdorp)
"Rein and I have known each other since high school, where we met playing water polo," says Rowan. "After a 7-year stint when Rein was galivanting around Holland, we met up again and been greatest of mates ever since."

"We're both very competitive since we've been playing competitive sport all our lives. We plan to take that straight into the kitchen and this competition."

Rein says during his 7 years in Holland "I had the privilege of experiencing some amazing chefs. I was exposed to a lot of great restaurants and food when I was there and it ignited my passion for food."

Bloem Besties Liz (37) & Leanne (32) (Bloemfontein)
"Leanne and myself have known each other for just over two years now, but it was a friendship at first sight," says Liz.

"Finally I found someone who shares my fussiness about food, someone who thinks in food language, someone who plans her week around food ... I met my match!"

Liz says she's "a serious competitor" and very hard on herself. "I love Leanne's craziness and her strong will. What's right is right and wrong is wrong. With Leanne everything is very clear, there are no grey areas."

Leanne says she's a very emotional person. "I wear my emotions on my sleeve, so everyone always knows exactly what I am feeling and where they stand with me."

She says she "loves Liz's determination and her ability to create magic from nothing. She will do anything for me as a friend and will carry me when I need help."