My Kitchen Rules SA: Jamandi and Machiel make it to final

Jamandi and Machiel from Bloemfontein outcooked mother and daughter duo Lani and Louzel from Cradock to take the second spot in the My Kitchen Rules series finale!

The witty husband and wife pair will go up against best friends Charnell and Kerry in the show’s special 90 minute grand finale on Sunday 10 December, when the couples will be cooking to win the massive R1 Million cash prize.

Lani and Louzel

In a mouth-watering cook-off last night, Lani, Louzel, Jamandi and Machiel pulled out all of the stops as they each presented a spectacular three-course menu for judges David Higgs and J’Something, as well as a panel of celebrity guest judges comprising Reuben Riffel, Vanessa Marx, Karen Dudley and Lentswe Bhengu.

“The competition isn’t only about going up against another team. It’s also about pushing your own boundaries and doing your very best. That’s what this competition is about,” a reflective Louzel noted as she walked into the gleaming Kitchen HQ with her mother by her side.

Jamandi and Machiel were surprisingly emotional before the challenge kicked off too. “I never thought I would get to live out my food dream, and with my best friend by my side,” a slightly tearful Jamandi gushed. “It’s been an incredible experience so far, and it’s a true honour to be cooking against Lani and Louzel in this round,” Machiel added.

Lani and Louzel wanted to celebrate being South African in their three-course offering, and put together a menu packed with uniquely South African ingredients and flavours. For starters, they created Bobotie spring rolls with a mango and coriander chutney and fresh coconut, followed by a “Celebration of Lamb” consisting of pulled lamb and a lamb rack for mains, served with pumpkin two ways and a cucumber and mint pickle. For their dessert they opted for a brandy snap, ginger biscuit, vanilla ice cream and figs two ways, and for many of the judges, their sweet creation was the dish of the day.

Jamandi and Machiel, on the other hand, chose to borrow from world flavours for their three-course menu. For starters they created sesame seared tuna with sushi rice, a pineapple and cucumber salsa and ponzu sauce, and for their main meal they chose to make a lamb Osso Buco with polenta, which was incredibly well received by the judges. “That tasted like home!” an elated Chef Lentswe Bhengu raved. Bringing their inspiration back home for their dessert, Jamandi and Machiel prepared a crumbed carrot cake with hazelnut ice cream and orange curd –  the first cake that Jamandi had ever baked in her life!

It was a nail-biting and totally unpredictable ending, as both teams excelled and also faltered at times. In the end, Jamandi and Machiel narrowly beat Lani and Louzel by a mere two point margin, as the judges awarded them an overall score of 46 out of 60 points!

In the season finale next week, Jamandi and Machiel will cook against best friends from Johannesburg, Charnell and Kerry. Not only will these teams be facing a mammoth finale challenge, but they will also have to deal with the pressure of cooking for some very special and illustrious guests.

My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/mkr 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.

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