TV Plus (South Africa) - - FRAME BY FRAME -

white beaches, palm trees and cock­tails – now doesn’t that sound like a win­ning recipe? the only things miss­ing are ex­otic dishes and a com­pe­ti­tion el­e­ment. sur­prise – that’s ex­actly what hap­pened in may this year when tv­plus packed our bags and flew to mau­ri­tius for a culi­nary ad­ven­ture with the team from masterchef sa (2012-cur­rent). the episodes that air on thurs­day 6 and 13 novem­ber on m-net at 19:30 were filmed on the is­land and we de­voured ev­ery­thing that took place like hun­gry chil­dren. here are some of the del­i­ca­cies that we sam­pled…

si­lence is golden

the top-7 am­a­teur chefs got the chance to prove their cook­ing skills on the trop­i­cal is­land in both an in­ven­tion and pres­sure test. first up was the in­ven­tion test, which was an out­door af­fair at the five-star long beach hol­i­day re­sort, where the show’s com­peti­tors and pro­duc­tion team also stayed. the first thing we no­ticed was how quiet it is around the pro­duc­tion team from the mo­ment the di­rec­tor yells “ac­tion”. masterchef’s al­ways got mu­sic play­ing in the back­ground when we see it on tv, but it was so quiet that you could hear the kitchen uten­sils clat­ter­ing.

pub­li­cist in­grid en­gel­brecht ex­plains that the mu­sic is added to episodes af­ter­wards by the tech­ni­cal team. “as soon as the episode is edited, back­ground mu­sic is added into the scenes.” after all, the mu­sic adds a lot to the sense of drama on the masterchef screens.

ex­ten­sive plan­ning

shoot­ing out­doors isn’t just put to­gether in five min­utes – in fact, the care­ful plan­ning process starts a year be­fore the ac­tual film­ing. arnold tanzer, the show’s culi­nary ed­i­tor, ex­plains that it hap­pens in phases: “we throw ideas around in our of­fices in joburg and de­cide where we want to travel. then we go scout­ing. we went to mau­ri­tius in fe­bru­ary this year. then we draw up a plan that we put to the pro­ducer, broad­caster and di­rec­tor.”

when the time comes for the in­ven­tion test episode to be filmed, the pro­duc­tion team was up be­fore dawn to set ev­ery­thing up. it took about six hours to build up all seven cook­ing sta­tions, the pantry, cam­era equip­ment, ca­bles and a gen­er­a­tor for the chal­lenge – a chal­lenge in it­self. the chefs then had just 60 min­utes to dream up a mouth-wa­ter­ing mau­ri­tius-in­spired dish, and there was lots hap­pen­ing be­hind the scenes at the same time. pho­tos are taken, judges check in with each con­tes­tant and chat to them, the cam­era crew have to take in­di­vid­ual shots of the dishes that have been pre­pared, and the con­tes­tants need to ex­plain their process to both the judges and the cam­eras.

melissa-lee suther­land

siphokazi md­lankomo

ian young

phillipa robin­son

roxi ward­man

penny fitchet

abi­gale mbalo

the show’s judges (from left) reuben rif­fel, benny masek­wa­meng and peter goffe-wood. guest judge chef she­lina per­maloo (orange), who’s of mau­ri­tian de­scent, was crowned masterchef uk win­ner in 2012 and she was ap­proached in may by the show to be a guest judge while masterchef sa was in mau­ri­tius.

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