In July, local television will become more appetising than ever before. MasterChef South Africa Season 5, based on the world’s best and most popular cooking reality show, launches in its new home on S3 on Saturday, 13 July at 19:30.

That’s when 20 uber-passionate home cooks from different backgrounds and with various food-making fortes – from baking and basting to seafood and curries – will step into MasterChef South Africa’s state-of-the-art and pressure-cooker kitchen.

These competitive amateur chefs all have the same goal: Impressing the three fair yet highly critical judges and dodging the chopping board to be named the country’s MasterChef. The winner of MasterChef South Africa Season 5 will also scoop up a tasty R1 million in prize money.

Throughout the competition, the show’s new “superior chefs in the making” are tasked to whip up delicious dishes fit for a king. It all boils down to their ability to tickle the taste buds with a perfect mix of flavours and serving a feast for the eye on a plate.

During the show’s stressful invention tests, their foodmaking flair is challenged when they must create a dish around a specific theme from scratch. Sometimes, there are also mystery box challenges, limiting them to a mixed bag of ingredients and occasionally, world-renowned local chefs visit the MasterChef kitchen. Following a masterclass illustrating the ins and outs of one of their signature dishes, the contestants have to recreate the masterpieces, whereafter, the guest judge joins the resident judges to evaluate the meals.

Judge Katlego Mlambo, who joined Season 4 judges, food connoisseurs Zola Nene and Justine Drake, raves about the Season 5 competitors but notes that the drama behind the pots and pans often gets spicy.

“The contestants are only as good as their last plate, and anything can happen. It’s a constant race against the clock, and one flop or sub-standard presentation could cost them their MasterChef apron,” Katlego explains.

Zola and Justine share Katlego’s sentiment.

Justine adds, “The competency of this season’s home cooks is much higher than in the previous season. Zola concurs, “I was surprised by their clear understanding of advanced cooking techniques and knife skills. These people can cook. The question is, who will continue to improve their know-how and rise to the top?”


MasterChef South Africa Season 5 also embraces local indigenous products stocked in the spectacular set’s Pick n Pay pantry.


“The contestants are spoilt for choice with the best local and international products,” Katlego says.  


While the edgy set includes the first-ever half-moon gantry, the Pick n Pay pantry’s design matches those of current stores, focusing on line rhythm but also allowing curves to soften the space. The shelves carry everything needed to cook a MasterChef-worthy meal, from fresh produce to grocery basics like eggs, coconut milk, spices, pasta and more.


Double-door fridges stock all types of dairy and cheese, charcuterie, red meat and chicken, while a freezer section contains ice cream, frozen berries, and seafood, including prawns and mussels. Also included are products from the Pick n Pay Innovations range and the healthy food Live Well range. One of the most noteworthy areas in the pantry is the packaging-free section, which carries everything from nuts and goji berries to bulgur wheat, with the primary aim being to help minimise waste as contestants can take the exact quantity they require. 


Katlego comments, “Every time I walk into the Pick n Pay pantry, I’m blown away. It’s a chef’s dream come true.”


Furthermore, the kitchen is equipped with products from @home, Beko (appliances), Durbanville Hills Winery, Edison Stone (Wüsthoff knives), Setamono Hibachi (grills), Chef Gear (aprons and chef jackets), My Butcher’s Block, Mervyn Gers (bespoke crockery). Among the other sponsors are LED Lighting SA and YOCO.

Besides the MasterChef South Africa Season 5 premiere episodes on S3 on Saturdays at 19:30, there will be a rebroadcast on S3 on Sundays at 18:30 and SABC 2 on Wednesdays at 18:00.

The 20 MasterChef South Africa Season 5 contestants will be announced soon.

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