Plate & date
The way to the heart is through the belly, says new local matchmaking show Dinner Date.
Season 1 Wednesday (from 5 April) SABC3 (*193) 19:30
New reality show Dinner Date (2017current) is a combo of cooking and dating shows mixed into one. The hosts rustle up a three- course meal of their choice and then welcome their dates into their homes. After going on three consecutive dates with a new host every evening, a favourite is picked and the contestant goes on a dinner date with their chosen host at a local restaurant. The two unlucky hosts get a microwave meal for one. In the comfort of their own homes, at least…
The original Dinner Date has aired in the UK since 2010 and producer Coco Sefanyetso says that “while the concept remains true to the British format, we’ll introduce South African cuisine as well as the different races and cultures we have in our country”. Season 1 was filmed entirely in Joburg and will have 13 episodes, following one single on their three dates. Before
filming started, the producers conducted interviews and the contestants were paired up with potential hosts according to personality type, likes, dislikes and compatibilities. Each contestant was given five menus and told to choose the three they like most and that’s how the hosts are picked.
While the initial matching-up process was relatively easy, Coco jokes that “the rest of the process was a little trickier”. “We got a good response, but then when we approached the entrants, they got cold feet. Some of them really didn’t want to do it. In fact, they didn’t even enter themselves and it turns out they were entered by a family member.” There were also a few hiccups with filming as Coco explains that “sometimes it felt like invasion of privacy. We went into the personal space of the hosts and that’s tough. All we wanted was for them to be as natural as possible on camera, because nothing was scripted, but some of them were really shy”.
Dating shows are catching on in SA and that’s part of the reason Coco and her team took on the challenge. “People’s responses on social media to these dating shows [like Date My Family and Married At First Sight: SA, 2015- current and 2017- current] gave me hope for Dinner Date. I think South Africans no longer believe that finding ‘ the one’ is going to happen in a traditional, oneon-one dating way. People have to put themselves out there.”
And while season 1 has only just started, Coco admits that they’re eyeing planning for a second season that they hope will be filmed in Cape Town if they get the greenlight.
Dinner Date’s producer Coco Sefanyetso.
Coco was on hand to make sure every shot was perfect.
The hosts are filmed prepping the meals.
The team takes over the host’s home for filming.
Some hosts needed a liquid boost to get over their nerves.