Cape Town – It was a nail-biting episode of My Kitchen Rules SA on Sunday.
The first ever elimination took place in what can only be described as a roller-coaster episode.
Book club besties Kelly and Claire were the last in the group to host their Instant Restaurant, D'lish.
Right off the bat the pair had some difficulties in the kitchen.
They had opposing views on the way their starter, a steak tartare should be plated and how it was seasoned. To add to the pressure Claire's ciabatta was a big flop. The verdict from the judges was not pretty.
Things completely fell apart when it came to their main dish of duck a l’orange with sweet potato mash and steamed broccoli. They ran out of time and ended up serving an overcooked, cold dish.
With only their dessert left the ladies had to pull a rabbit out of the hat with their apple tart and vanilla custard.
Chef David Higgs said it was the best dessert of the season. But sadly their dessert could not save them and they scored 54/100.
We chatted to Kelly and Claire about their experience on the show.
What was your game plan going into the show, and did you stick to it?
Our strategy going in was to focus on the challenge at hand and deliver incredibly cooked food to impress both the judges and contestants. We did our best in the kitchen but ultimately the stress and time constraints got to us and we started to lose focus! We definitely would have liked to achieve a higher score but it is what it is and “we ducked it” .
How confident were you going into your Instant Restaurant round?
By the time it was our turn the pressure had built up immensely and we weren’t very confident at all. We didn’t realise how taxing the experience would be.
Do you think you had an advantage going last in your round, because you knew what the judges liked and disliked?
No, the judges had tasted such a variety of food that their palates needed something extra special to impress them when it came to our turn. The other contestants also had very South African menus whereas ours was French-themed which was also perhaps a disadvantage.
What were the biggest challenges and surprises of doing your instant restaurant?
We completely ran out of time and it’s something that we should have strategised better. You don’t realise how much longer things take in the kitchen when you are stressing over the small details. It’s very different to cooking for friends in a relaxed atmosphere!
In hindsight is there anything you would change on your menu?
The steak tartare was a very difficult starter to serve, especially since not many people have a palate for raw meat. Although the duck was our downfall in the end, the tartare completely threw us off and was such a demanding dish that we simply didn’t have enough time to dedicate to the ducking duck!
How did you feel about the judges and the contestants’ critique of your dishes?
Overall it was fair considering how late we ran, but we did hope our tartare would have scored a little higher.
Knowing now how much pressure comes with your own Instant Restaurant, would you have changed any of the scores that you gave to the competitors that hosted before you?
In general we scored fairly throughout and wouldn’t change much. There are a few dishes that we maybe could have scored a bit differently, but so early in the show one doesn’t have a benchmark to work with.
Some of your fellow contestants are more popular with viewers than others. Who are your favourite contestants to share a meal with?
We were very lucky to have been put in a fantastic group of people, but our favourite team has to be “our boys” Rein and Rowan.
Who from your group would you like to win and why?
We’d love to see Rein & Rowan win as they just work so well together. They cook together so frequently and have a true passion for food. It’s not always about the food on the plate but the spirit in the kitchen that counts!
Tune in for all the cooking drama Sundays at 18:00 on M-Net (DStv 101).