Meet your MKRSA cooking pairs
Meet the first batch of home cooks in season 2 of My Kitchen Rules South Africa.
The yummiest local cooking competition on television, My Kitchen Rules South Africa returns to M-Net 101 this week Sunday (3 June) at 18:00, with celebrity chef and musician J’Something and restaurateur extraordinaire David Higgs reprising their roles as the show’s discerning judges.
Based on the popular Australian format, My Kitchen Rules South Africa kicks off with the pressure-cooker Instant Restaurant phase - during which each of the five foodie pairs have a turn to cook and entertain up a storm in their own homes, in a bid to impress the judges and their fellow competitors. At the end of each episode, the guests around the table score the hosts on the quality and presentation of their three-course meal and after the entire table has had their turn, the couple with the lowest score is eliminated.
During the Instant Restaurant phase there are two tables, each consisting of five foodie pairs - and in the first episode, we meet Table One, hosted by Jalal and Adrie from Rietfontein in Pretoria. “This season, the table is set for a food fight of note,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “The home chefs, who come from different backgrounds and have very different palates, are all serious about food and winning the competition. You can prepare yourself for a variety of exotic, as well as some proudly South African dishes - and plenty of fireworks in the kitchen and around the table."
The first five pairs vying to outcook each other and impress the judges are:
Rox & Spoen
Rox (28) and Spoen (23) Green are sporty, fun-loving, farm girls from the beautiful countryside of Winterton in KZN. Inspired by locally-sourced produce and the seasonal harvest table of Mother Nature, these sisters are all about nutritious, wholesome farm-style food, with a youthful twist. Like two peas in a pod, they both studied at the University of Stellenbosch, both organise major sports-related public events in the Midlands and have participated in numerous biking competitions around the world. They love each other’s company and often have a good laugh together - whether they’re experimenting behind the stove, or donning their trainers for a trail run. Spoen appreciates Rox’s zest for life, loyalty and honesty, while Rox knows that her younger sister has the focus and tenacity to pull off anything she sets her mind to.
Tarryn & Diego
Married couple Tarryn (33) and Diego (36) Fernandez live in River Club, Johannesburg, where you’ll often find them experimenting with bold Argentinean-inspired flavours and cooking methods with a distinctive South African flair. Diego, who was born in Buenos Aires, is fluent in Spanish and the couple admit that his cultural background and delicious self-made ingredients often make their way into their dishes. The passionate, football-crazy foodie is also the inventor of authentic Argentinian sauces, the recipes for which, he keeps close to his chest. Together, Tarryn and Diego form a formidable team who complement each other in surprising ways. Corporate travel manager Tarryn confesses that she’s competitive and opinionated - especially when matters conflict with her no-time-for-nonsense policy. She’s also the messy one in the kitchen, which can sometimes cause Diego to fuss – but they both have a low tolerance for poor attitudes and bad food. Apart from cooking, Tarryn & Diego enjoy travelling, visiting food markets and exploring the city. Diego has finished the gruelling Comrades Marathon four times and this year they both enjoyed running the Two Oceans Marathon in the Mother City.
Minnie & Tee
Sparkling and vivacious “millennials” Minenhle Ntuli (23) and Nomthandazo Xaba, (20), or “Minnie” and “Tee”, as everyone calls them, met at a TV show audition and immediately became BFFs. It’s easy to see why the two bubbly soul sisters gel in the kitchen and have great fun cooking together. They’re both studying at the University of KZN, where Minnie is also an active Student Council representative, who was born to be in the entertainment industry. They are both musicians, radio hosts and MCs for private and school events, and share the same food style and tastes. Minnie and Tee confess that they love eating as much as they love cooking, especially if it’s the type of food you’ll find in a traditional African home. There’s one ingredient they can’t live without – Aromat! In My Kitchen Rules SA, the two entertainers want to show the world that it’s possible to modernise traditional cuisine without diminishing the African experience.
Jalal & Adrie
It was love at first sight, more than 22 years ago, when Jalal - who grew up in Casablanca, Morocco - was struck by the green eyes of Sannieshof “boeremeisie” Adrie at Bible College. As is customary in Morocco as a sign of noble intention, he immediately proposed marriage - and just seven months later, they were standing in front of the altar. Since then, Jalal (46) and Adrie (48) have been cooking together every night in their family’s happy place, the kitchen. The doting mom and dad from Rietfontein, Pretoria describe their food style as “North meets South, fire & ice and sugar & spice”. They enjoy honest, authentic, rustic Mediterranean food and are intrigued by different cultures and languages. For them, food is a unique extra language that they speak with friends and family. Fitness is very important to Jalal, but when he isn’t boxing, jogging or going to the gym, he keeps his curious mind active by reading up on current affairs. Adrie is an avid reader as well, but prefers fiction in the form of thrillers and crime & historical novels. She also loves creating art with mosaic, paint and pewter.
Kim & Pashi
Soon-to-be-engaged Kamisha Naidoo (27) from Yellowwood Park and Pashi Reddy (32) from Kloof, Durban, describe themselves as soul mates, dreamers, and risk-takers with adventurous palates. Their food is a fusion of ‘old meets new’ and ‘East combined with West’ – all spiced with exotic ingredients and a love for authentic street food and culture. This dynamic, glamorous duo hope to one day open their own signature restaurant venue filled with culture, theatre, passion, spice and punchy flavours. When they aren’t creating imaginative dishes, Kim and Pashi enjoy extreme outdoor activities. The lovebirds have sky-dived, gone swimming with great white sharks, jumped off cliffs and into gorges and have even gotten lost deep in Africa, with just a map and 4x4. Kim, a former air hostess who is now studying Educational Psychology, loves make-up artistry and meditation while her business owner beau enjoys games of strategy, like chess and poker, as well as competitive sport. Table One still has an extensive journey ahead of them, however, as another group of talented home cooks from around the country patiently await their turn to showcase their culinary delights in the same process, before the eight pairs of highest achievers from each group move on to the MKR Kitchen Headquarters in Johannesburg.
The second 5 pairs with their eyes on the pie are:
- Ash & Chris - Manneberg Cousins
- Dirk & Bahia – Engaged couple from Stellenbosch
- Donald & Luyanda - Food Buddies from Johannesburg
- Maj & Joleen - Parkview Mums
- Maritsa & Maradine – Married couple from Bloemfontein
Come for the food and stay for the drama. Tune in on Sunday, 3 June at 18:00 to see what will be brewing in the kitchen of the first Instant Restaurant of My Kitchen Rules SA Season 2!
Watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants right here on our website and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on our official M-Net Facebook page.