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MasterChef SA: Emotion in Ethiopia ends with an Olympic gold medalist

The greatest long-distance runner of all time, Haile Gebrselassie, takes a taste of MasterChef SA.

16 Apr 2014
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The Top 7 were not done with Ethiopia yet. There were still two more challenges and an elimination.

Injera, an Ethiopian 'pancake' staple, stared them in the face, which they had to pefect to avoid the bottom 3.

The contestants walked to their hot plates to get going trying to figure out the best way of cooking this Ethiopian staple.

Karen was the first to show the Judges a halfway-decent injera but it was still not good enough.

Benny revealed the way the locals do it, pouring the batter in a circular motion to start it from the outside of the pan, so that it levels out.

After a couple of attempts, Jason finally figured it out. 'I lift up my lid, it’s looking good, and then I have this ingenious idea of putting my mat underneath and basically sliding my injera onto the mat,' he said, which is exactly how the locals do it.

The Judges were happy with his injera and Jason is the first of four Contestants who is safe to cook another day.

The rest soon followed suit. Ozzy started off with his third one and did it in a perfect circular shape, but worriedly admitting that he doesn't have enough batter for a fourth try. Which fortunately he didn’t have to attempt - the judges declared him safe.

Leandri and Seline managed to clinch the last two spots sending Tiron, Kamini and Karen in the Elimination Challenge.

'I am feeling really, really angry,' Kamini said. 'I let my guard slip this morning.'

The Bottom 3 had to create a nutritious and delicious vegetarian meal using the pantry of locally sourced ingredients.

Cooking for the founders of Yaya Village, Joseph Kibur, a former Canadian cross-country champion who decided to come back to his homeland to start this training facility, and the greatest long-distance runner of all time, multiple world record holder and Olympic gold medallist, Haile Gebrselassie.

Over in the judges’ corner Andrew liked Tiron’s progress so far, while Pete thought Karen was a little 'deer-in-the-headlights'.

After a frantic 75 minutes, the judges welcomed their special guests and were ready to dig in. Tiron was first up, hopeful of a Top 6 position.

Tiron served Ethiopian Shiro wat with spinach, almond and chickpeas and fresh salsa. Joseph Kibur was especially impressed with the traditional Shiro wat, which is very difficult to cook authentically.

Karen’s dish was a Vegetable stew with wholewheat pasta and chickpea paste crostini, explaining how she fell inlove with the country, hoping it would show in her meal.

'What I see, what I eat, what I taste, it’s really good' Haile Gebrselassie commented after tasting.

Finally it was Kamini’s turn to serve up her Trio of vegetarian curries with home-made chapati.

'Excellent!' Haile Gebrselassie commented. It’s a meal he would eat gladly, he told Andrew, satisfied about the definite flavour explosion.

With all the dishes tasted, the Judges were ready to make their call.

'There are no losers in today’s MasterChef race,' said Pete. 'But, like all athletes, on any given day someone is always outperformed by someone else.' And today, that person was Karen.

'I am Number 7 out of thousands of people that auditioned for MasterChef SA and I am proud of myself,' Karen said.

And then there were 6 with their time in Ethiopia which had come to an end.


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