We chatted to one of the MasterChef SA contetants, Sarel, about his life, his passion for cooking and the show
@GoodHouseSA: We hear besides running adventure camps, a business and a small museum, you’re also a pastor. Impressive! So what made you want to do MasterChef?
@SarelvanSabie: I am a busy body! Food has been a passion for many years and MasterChef gave me the opportunity to cook.
@GoodHouseSA: So where exactly does your passion for cooking come from? Did someone inspire you?
@SarelvanSabie: I have been cooking from an early age, about 10. My mom use to be away a lot so we had to cook. I used the old “Kook en Geniet”. I was also inspired by a lot of TV cooks like Nigella as well as TV cooking shows like MasterChef UK – the Aussie one was amazing!
@GoodHouseSA: “Kook en Geniet” remains the best! What has been the toughest MasterChef challenge for you so far?
@SarelvanSabie: I think the first one – the hot auditions were very difficult because we had no idea what to expect yet. The toughest aspect of the show is the mental stress.
@GoodHouseSA: We can just imagine the stress! And what’s been the highlight for you up until now?
@SarelvanSabie: The Salmon Three Ways challenge! After that dish I just knew that I can do this. It gave me a lot of confidence, but at the same time that challenge was a low for me. That was they day Lwazi left the house and I also heard that my mom was in a critical condition in the hospital.
@GoodHouseSA: That must have been a very tough day, on top of all the MasterChef stress.
@SarelvanSabie: Not one of my best days, but the producers were cool. They made me look good on set – there were no tears in that episode! Thanks!
@GoodHouseSA: We heard you specialise in desserts. If the next MasterChef challenge was to prepare your best dessert, what would you make?
@SarelvanSabie: It would be a caramel-sugar and nut ice cream served in a brandy snap basket, with a berry sauce on the side.
@GoodHouseSA: That sounds SO delicious! Where can we order?! Speaking about challenges, who do consider your biggest competition at this point?
@SarelvanSabie: There are amazing cooks on the show. I think Samantha and Deena have a lot of knowledge, but there’s also Ilse and Lungi – very talented!
@GoodHouseSA: Indeed a lot of talented chefs! Do you think being a little older than some of the other contestants gives you an advantage?
@SarelvanSabie: Older? Deena and I call ourselves the “elders “. More time in the kitchen, more experience – yes, I think it does give us an advantage. It also helps us a bit to handle the mental demands of the show.
@GoodHouseSA: So if you’re SA’s first MasterChef, what part of the prize would you enjoy most? Perhaps having your own restaurant?
@SarelvanSabie: I am dreaming of the restaurant and seeing people enjoying the food I make. That’s what cooking is all about to me – feeding people!
@GoodHouseSA: So very true! Lastly, Sarel, do you have any advice for someone who can’t cook but wants to learn?
@SarelvanSabie: If you can read, you can cook. You just have to try. Try dishes every week – some will be very bad and then there are those that turn out amazing. If all else fails, read the recipe – or contact me and I’ll help!
@GoodHouseSA: Thanks for the advice. We’re going to take you up on that offer
Find out more about Sarel and the MasterChef SA competition.