Mdlankomo and Wardman went toe-to-toe last night in the MasterChef kitchen for a marathon three-challenge showdown at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
In the final Invention Test the two finalists had 90 minutes to prepare a restaurant-quality dish featuring quintessential South African food.
Mdlankomo prepared traditional samp, infused in saffron and coconut milk, served with mutton curry, a bean and cucumber sambal and a banana sambal. Reuben and Benny each awarded Mdlankomo seven points out of 10 and Pete only six, which gave her a first round total of 20.
Wardman presented individual little boboties with traditional yellow rice and date and apricot chutneys as well as two sambals: quince, and onion and carrot.
The judges each awarded her eight out of 10 points, which put her in the lead at 24.
The second round was a Dessert Mystery Box containing butter, self-raising flour, milk, cream, amasi, castor sugar, basmati rice, sultanas, eggs, geranium leaves, granadillas, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, fynbos honey, and white wine vinegar.
Wardman presented a lamington made with rice flour, along with a fudge crumble and a passion fruit and amasi granita, which earned her five out of 10 from Reuben and six each from Pete and Benny, for a new total cumulative of 41 points.
Mdlankomo’s dessert was a crème patisserie tart with granola and a passion fruit and amasi sorbet, which earned her rave reviews. Pete and Reuben each scored her six out of 10 and Benny seven, for a total of 39 points.
For the third challenge the judges had a surprise – a “cook-off” alongside one of the world’s culinary legends, Chef Marco Pierre White.
The finalists had to work alongside Chef Marco and follow his example step-by-step to cook roast rump of lamb on the bone, with mussels in a white wine sauce.
The final scores were 67 points to Mdlankomo and 75 points to Wardman.
Wardman got R500 000 in cash from Robertsons, a brand new VW Tiguan, R100 000 worth of food from Woolworths, a trip to the French winelands for her and a partner, a year’s worth of wines from Nederburg and a five-night stay at a luxury resort in the Seychelles.
Mdlankomo got to take home R100 000.