Season 1 SABC2 (*192) 19:00 Reality
Test, make and serve – that’s the drill for the student chefs who’re competing on Reuben Riffel’s reality cooking show PROEfessioneel (2017-current). They’re fighting for the grand prize of getting to work in a world-class kitchen but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect all of the time. Surely a plate or two have gone flying while filming? Creator Ben Badenhorst gives us a secret taste…
1 It took Ben six months to go from idea to production – and he had Reuben in mind from the start.
2 Ben explains that “we chose to have Reuben as our host and presenter because not only is he one of the country’s top chefs, he believes in what we’re doing: investing our knowledge and experience in the youth”.
3 The 13-episode first season is still being filmed! They tape all of the episodes in Ben’s studio in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
4 Each episode – just 24 minutes long – takes an entire day to film thanks to the different camera angles and the preparation time.
5 And don’t think that the ingredients have been lying around in a storeroom. Reuben sources everything on the morning of filming.
6 The biggest stress hasn’t been plating the food though. Ben says that “getting everyone’s schedules to line up is crazy! And we have ten guest chefs who help with the judging”.
7 PROEfessioneel (“Taste Professional”) wasn’t the first-choice title. “We had Uitklopkos, Onstpan and Eet En Drink Met Reuben,” says Ben.
8 And the biggest disaster to date was a microwaved potato that caught alight and Ben laughs that “the entire studio was full of smoke”.
PROEfessioneel host and presenter chef Reuben Riffel. Ben Badenhorst.