Life goes on for Port Elizabeth-born Charnell Young and best friend Kerry Sonn after they missed out on a R1-million prize in the My Kitchen Rules finale.
Young, 37, and Sonn, 35, said they were grateful for the experience of a lifetime, having competed against nine other teams in the South African version of the Australian cooking show that has just ended on M-Net.
“I’m really just happy we came this far, it’s quite a big deal for us having gone up against so many tough competitors,” Young said.
The two lost by a mere three points to Bloemfontein husband and wife team Jamandi and Machiel Bekker, who scored 46 out of 60 points for their fivecourse meal.
The two teams had to impress the six judges which included resident judges J’Something and David Higgs, as well as chefs Margot Janse, Cass Abrahams, Devi Sankaree Govender and the first South African Michelin star holder, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, who flew in from France to guest-judge the finale.
They were required do prepare an amuse bouche, a soup, a fish dish, a main meal of their choice and a dessert.
While Young and Sonn’s dessert – Cape Malay koeksisters with sweetened cream, naartjie coulis and an almond crumb – blew the judges away, bringing Abrahams to tears, the Bekkers generally collected more points.
The winning couple had no plans for the money yet.
“I was taught in my life [to] first earn something and then dream about it,” Machiel said.
Though only screened on Sunday, the actual finale fell on the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary in September.
The Bekkers earned their spot in the finals by beating Cradock mum Elani Lombard and Cape Town-based daughter Louzel Lombard Steyn in the semi-finals.
My Kitchen Rules SA returns for a second season next year.
“We’re planning to start auditions as early as January and air the show in winter,” M-Net’s head of local content and independent films, Kaye Anne Williams, said.
Information for auditions is available on mnet.tv/mkr.