Eight contestants are gearing up to put out their best culinary and presenting skills in the hopes of becoming the new resident foodie on SABC 3’s popular variety show "Afternoon Express".
In the debut season (November 12) of the new food show, "The Taste Master", celebrity judges Zola Nene and Gregory Czarnecki will put contestants through weekly challenges – the one with the lowest score at the end of each episode, gets eliminated.
The last foodie standing will be awarded the title of "The Taste Master".
No stranger to television, Nene who has been apart of "Expresso" and a judge on "The Wedding Bashes" understands the what creating the prefect TV ready plate.
While Czarnecki, who has worked in several Michelin-star restaurants in Paris, is currently the executive chef at The Restaurant at Waterkloof in Somerset West, which recently won a Top 10 award in the Eat Out Mercedes Benz awards.
Meet the contestants:
Boitumelo ‘ChewMe’ Mogoai
32-year-old Boitumelo Mogoai, a director and executive chef of ChewMe Food, started cooking at age 11 when she experimented with ox liver. It went completely wrong.
She hopes to impress the judges with her ability to take simple ingredients and make them "pop".
“I’m excited to see what challenges lie ahead on ‘The Taste Master’ and find out how we will be tested. I know the end goal is to eventually become the resident chef on ‘Afternoon Express’, but I’m also looking forward to the actual journey – and hopefully making some new friends along the way," she said.
Media coordinator and a barman, Imtiyaaz Hart, 28, has a passionate for food.
“I would always ask if I could help my grandmother with her samoosas or pies and on occasion she would let me mix the ingredients for chocolate cakes and lamingtons.
I can’t wait to learn more about food and share my experience with foodies who can relate to my love of cooking. I want the world to know that even though you didn’t become a chef or attend a culinary school, you can still be confident with your self-taught cooking skills," said Hart.
Marketing executive Alex Torrão fell in love with food while growing up in a small farming town in Portugal.
The 34-year-old recalls spending time with his grandmother in the kitchen. After moving to Macau he fell in love with street food culture. When he came to South Africa, he was inspired to open up a food truck of his own and his business has been thriving ever since.
“I want to inspire South Africans to be adventurous with their cooking and not be intimidated by crazy recipes. For me, it’s all about simplicity and I can’t wait to show off that side of myself on the show.”
This 35 year old jack of all trades is the founder of Glam Foodie, a social media community centered on a common love for food, she is also a recipe developer, a digital content creator and an event architect.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my passion for food and cooking on such a big platform. I’m excited about meeting new people who have a common love for food and I look forward sharing what promises to be an amazing experience with fellow foodies and chefs. I love being able to take an old recipe and interpret it as my own and I can’t wait to show off what I got on the show,"she said.
Chaba "Sweetgenious" Mokake
32-year-old Chaba Mokake takes his food seriously. Today, he is a private chef, DJ and event host.
“I admire both Gregory Czarnecki and Zola Nene, so cooking for them is a dream come true. I can’t wait to show the country what I am made of," he said.
MacDonald Maepa Satikge
He is a private chef who is hoping his flair and technical abilities will help him become "The Taste Master".
Satikge says that he is famous for bold colours and interesting flavours when it comes to his dishes and is looking forward to offering viewers at home a unique experience when it comes to his food.
“I’m really looking forward to the different challenges on ‘The Taste Master’. Not only will it give me the opportunity to prove to myself what I am capable of, but I hope it will inspire people to try something different," he said.
Food is something that 29- year old wardrobe and make-up artist Masego Marite enjoys dabbling in during her spare time. While she doesn’t work in the culinary space on a daily basis, Marite’s knack for experimentation and obsession with flavour has made her quite the foodie.
“I would say I have a farm-style cooking technique. I love working with fresh ingredients and serving something unique for my family and friends. I am also passionate about creating delicious, healthy options with fresh ingredients and proving that healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean bland food," she said.
Ramdial is the youngest contestant this season. The 23- year old is a Sport Management honours graduate. Cooking food has always been a bonding experience for Nikara and her family- a feeling she’d like to share with the rest of South Africa.
“I look forward to growing as a foodie and increasing my culinary knowledge on ‘The Taste Master’, as I know it is a never-ending learning experience. I also hope to share my love for food and inspire others to use the kitchen as much as I do – and there is no better platform to achieve that than ‘Afternoon Express’," she said.
"The Taste Master" premieres Tuesday, November 12 at 7.30pm on SABC3.