The Nederburg MasterChef Cook-Off!
I was very lucky to find out that Nederburg had chosen me as one of a few lucky people to take part in an exciting cook-off at MasterChef South Africa judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Kitchen Cowboys studio in Woodstock, Cape Town. The event was hosted by Chef Pete and Nederburg’s Winemaster, Razvan Macici, the 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year.
I immediately responded hell yeah and invited a good friend Sam along as my cook off partner. I knew that Sam dabbles in a spot of baking from time to time so strategically it was an easy decision. Plus we always have fun so it was a win win. We both had no idea what to expect and the nerves crept in as we arrived a little late. This quickly faded as we were handed a glass of Champagne.
Chef Pete and Razvan introduced themselves and we were off to pick a ribbon and meet our team mates. Each team had a ribbon and a bottle of wine awaited on each work station. As luck would have it we were paired with an ex-Masterchef contestant, Lungile Nhlanhla and her sister. Naturally we handed the reigns to Lungi and we decided on Duck as the hero of the dish and a small goats cheese tartlet which became a pie in the end. We thought this would pair well with the Dessert Wine at our station. We had 90 minutes to prepare a dish worthy of Chef Pete’s ingredients and pair with the fine wine of Nederburg. It was game on for the Ultimate Wine and Food Pairing Master title.
Chef Pete Goffe-Wood and Winemaster Razvan Macici offered advice and guidance along the way. The time flew past and before we knew it time was up and we were ready to serve. Chef and Winemaster tasted each team’s dishes and paired the wine to measure the pairing – they definitely loved our dish – a number of mouthfuls and sounds of enjoyment lent to this conclusion. But in the end we didn’t win – our dish heightened the sweetness of the dessert wine which is not ideal.
And here it is, a fine effort – Orange and Pomegranate Seared Duck on a Light Salad accompanied with Goats Cheese and Brandied red Onion Pie. It blew my mind! I learnt a thing or two about pastry making but most of all a heightened respect for Chefs and the MasterChef contestants. Time flies and the pressure is on.
Nederburg pulled out all the stops and it was an incredible day out with lots of good wine, freshly prepared food and a few newly acquired cooking skills! Oh and we didnt leave empty handed – a goodie bag of Nederburg wine, a Le Creuset mixing bowl and our own Nederburg Aprons.