Brandon Law decides that an elimination round is a good time to try making puff pastry for the first time

It was either an act of youthful arrogance or complete and utter stupidity that made Brandon Law, the IT specialist from Johannesburg make his own puff pastry in the episode eight elimination round of MasterChef SA.

Babalwa Baartman and Brandon Law had the team challenge of replicating what is apparently an iconic South African dish. Chef Dawid Kriel’s mothers 35 year old chicken pie recipe, Meraai se Hoenderpaai at Volkskombuis in Stellenbosh. (More on that later).


Brandon Law's failed Chicken Pie experiment

Following on from the taste test the 8 losers were paired into 4 teams and then each was allocated a destination to go to where they would taste an iconic South African dish. The challenge was to return to the MasterChef kitchen and replicate it.

Of all the teams, Brandon and Babalwa had by far the easiest. Ilse Fourie and Manisha Naidu’s jaws dropped when they first saw their Tripe (ulusu) and phutu pap, with Manisha having to put her glasses on because she thought her eyes were deceiving her. Jade de Waal and Sue-Ann Allen had Waterblommetjie bredie, known to those in the Boland while Deena Naidoo and Thys Hattingh got to deal with something called Denningvleis.

In what can only be best described as arrogance, Brandon ignored the puff pasty in the pantry and elected to make his own, despite MasterChef Judge Pete Goffe-Wood  telling him that puff pastry takes two days to make properly. At that point one would have expected him to take a step back, take a close look at what is at stake and re evaluate his strategy.

He’d already said earlier in the show “I’ve never made puff pastry before, so I’m scared as to how it will turn out.” and still decided, with elimination at stake, that now would be a good time to try.

For a man who once proudly declared that he wanted to win MasterChef SA more than Tom wanted to catch Jerry and more than Pinocchio wanted to become a boy he did not show it. Tom has distinctly more more craft about him and Pinocchio definitely more common sense.

Babalwa should have put her foot down and said no but she didn’t and that is essentially why she left the MasterChef kitchen.

Pete Goffe-Wood took great pleasure in telling Brandon that the original recipe that they had tasted at Volkskombuis in Stellenbosch was made with store bought puff pastry.

When it came to the final judgement Pete Goff-Wood said their dish failed on the replication of the pastry and that they were too adventurous in making their own puff pastry in way too short a time. “As a result the entire pie suffered”.

How can you tell that Brandon Law is not an organ donor?

When he goes he takes someone else with him.

Become an organ donor, go to Organ Donor Foundation and register

MasterChef SA have not posted the 35 year old Meraai se Hoenderpaai recipe, but we have a younger one for you anyway, Chicken & Mushroom Pie by Aubrey Ngcungama