SOUTH AFRICA, OCT. 4 – For many weeks, My Kitchen Rules SA’s much talked-about cooking couple Kim and Pashi raised eyebrows with their “soon-to-be-engaged” relationship status. On Sunday, 30 September at the semi-final, the lovebirds stepped up their game in more ways than one. Not only did they earn a spot in next week’s series finale, they also became the first contestants in a South African reality cooking competition to get engaged with the cameras rolling.
Spicy lovebirds get engaged after beating top home cooks Maj and Joleen in a tough semi-final cook-off
After the newly-engaged couple, who face country girls Rox and Spoen in next Sunday’s grand finale, had beaten Maj and Joleen by a narrow two-point margin, Pashi proudly professed his love for Kim: “It’s been an unbelievable journey, I have met my soul mate. You have changed my life in so many ways. You are honestly the strongest woman I know. I’m going to need a partner to win this competition, but also a strong partner in life, to start a family.”
He then went down on one knee and popped the question, “And so, will you marry me?” to which an emotional, elated Kim responded: “Yes! On TV hey, only you!”
“It was an epic end to an epic semi-final,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard.
The semi-final was a showdown between the two top teams in their respective groups after the Instant Restaurant phase. In contrast to the one-sided first semi-final between Rox and Spoen and Donald and Luyanda, the second one could have gone either way. Kim and Pashi and Maj and Joleen had every element of their menus carefully planned and organised.
Each of the two teams presented a delectable three-course spread for judges David Higgs and J’Something, as well as a panel of celebrity guest judges, Reuben Riffel, Vanessa Marx, Karen Dudley and Lentswe Bhengu.
The menu that Maj and Joleen put forward celebrated the food they love to cook. For starters, they created modern gravadlax with beet cured salmon, horseradish cream and fennel seed flatbread crackers. The mains – pork belly with celeriac, smoked apple purée, and apple and fennel salad – was a smash hit. “I love the celeriac, I love the apple, I love the little sauce,” an impressed Judge Karen Dudley said. For dessert, they kept it simple and opted for a white chocolate mousse.
Kim and Pashi, on the other hand, chose to impress with a sexy international menu, which surprised the judges, who expected an Indian style menu. For starters they created chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard, and a dashi broth, which the judges found irresistible.
“There’s something about it that just makes you want more,” Chef Vanessa Marx raved. For their main meal, they chose venison with chicken liver mousse, chocolate sauce, red wine jus – a French culinary term for a very specific kind of sauce – and a quince-and-nut soil.
For dessert, Kim and Pashi served mango kulfi, with saffron, rice pudding and a salted coconut cream, which impressed chef Reuben Riffel, who noted that the dish was unconventional. He appreciated the salted coconut sphere.
It was an extremely close call in the end and Maj and Joleen left the Kitchen HQ with heads held high. “Today was a good day to go out. I feel proud and if I had to choose anybody to go out against, it would be Kim and Pashi,” Joleen said.
My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/mkrsa to watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants, meet the new group of five couples and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page. – Contributed