Top Chef SA

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Sea­son 1 SABC3 (*193) 20:00

Get­ting a real­ity se­ries up and run­ning is hard work. And when you get it right, you end up with a tasty treat like cook­ing show Top Chef SA (2016-cur­rent). So what all goes into putting to­gether this for­mat of pro­duc­tion? We’ve got a list of be­hind-the-scenes in­gre­di­ents…

Any pro­fes­sional kitchen re­volves 1

around the chef’s knives – and Top Chef SA spared no ex­pense: the 14 con­tes­tants use Wüsthof Sil­ver­point knife sets worth R2 500 each! They were spe­cially im­ported for Top Chef SA and the chefs keep them af­ter their elim­i­na­tion.

And brand-new, ra­zor-sharp knives 2

mean a lot of cuts! While most of the knicks were left on the edit­ing floor, judge Le­sego Se­menya in­sisted that the pro­duc­ers air some of the cuts in episodes 1 and 2 (12 July and 19 July).

The chefs are ob­sessed with but­ter 3

and it’s been one of the most-used in­gre­di­ents dur­ing the 13-episode sea­son – about 90 500g bricks have gone into the dishes – that’s 45kg!

What the con­tes­tants did shy away 4

from us­ing were duck and saf­fron, al­though saf­fron is used in the sea­son fi­nale on 4 Oc­to­ber. “We also put out quail for the chal­lenges but the chefs seemed to avoid it,” Le­sego re­veals.

When film­ing started a month be5

fore the show’s premiere, it took an “un­usu­ally long” four days to film the first episode while the pro­duc­tion team, con­tes­tants and judges got the hang of things. Now it’s two days per episode.

The con­tes­tants have two chef 6

jack­ets each, with one be­ing washed af­ter ev­ery day of film­ing… along with the dish­cloths and table­cloths.

The show sourced over 300 plates, 7

uten­sils, cut­lery and mix­ers from a Joburg-based cater­ing com­pany for the con­tes­tants to use.

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