Home town advantage gives Samantha Nolan’s Red Team the game in the dying seconds.
In scenes reminiscent of Liverpool v Everton or Manchester United v Manchester City football matches the team in red sneaked in past the post in what turned out to be a strategic triumph for Samantha Nolan and her team crammed with Cape compatriots.
She had earlier in the day picked fellow Capetonians Sue-Ann Allen, Ilse Fourie and Guy Clark for her red team saying that she had to be strategic about it and have an all rounder team. This decision appeared to backfire initially along with a major timing risk with parts of her menu. It was looking as though they would be leaving the 40 lunch guests a little on the hungry side.
MasterChef Judge Andrew Atkinson pressed Samantha Nolan on her menu choice questioning whether it was going to be ready on time and at one point refused to allow the pork shoulder to go out.. Samantha had pulled a similar stunt in episode four with her Dutch Croquettes recipe, which on that occasion had Pete Goffe-Wood questioning her ability to get the dish cooked and plated in time. Samantha defied the criticism and blazed to success on that occasion, astounding all the judges with her recipe and won the stage with ease.
It was looking very different in episode five as Manisha Naidu expertly guided the Blue Team through her menu, keeping a sharp eye on everyone and ensuring that time was kept and the food was served promptly. The Blue Team then faced criticism from the lunch guests for what they called undercooked quail. Pete Goffe-Wood felt that was a bit harsh as the Blue Team had served the quail as it should be, otherwise it tends to be too dry.
The competition was close and it went down to the last basket of grapes, despite the Blue Team taking an early lead. The luncheon was held at the Nederburg Wine Estate, where MasterChef SA is filmed. Being harvest time grapes took a central role as each lunch guest had to load up a grape basket into the trailer of the team whose lunch they enjoyed the most. The losing team would have to face the pressure challenge and as the last basket of grapes was loaded up into the red teams trailer Manisha and her Blue Team compatriots, which included the three survivors of the episode four pressure challenge, Lwazi Mngoma, Mmutsi Maseko and Berdina Schurink, faced another difficult day. They simply did not stop to consider what is was that their guests would most likely enjoy, unlike the Red Team who knew the territory well.
Samantha Nolan’s decision to pack her team with as many locals as possible paid off as they sneaked past the post with what appeared to be a home town decision. Or it could have been Thys Hattingh’s pastry mastery with his Berry Parcels and the Pear and Nectarine Pastries for dessert that saved the day for Samantha.
Red Team Winning Menu: Hummus with paprika; Asian Spiked Pork Shoulder; Cubed Beef Fillets; Betty Parcels; Pear and Nectarine Pastry
Blue Team Losing Menu: Ostrich Crostini, Apricot Stuffed Quail, Sous Vide Chicken and no dessert.