LATE-NIGHT radio presenter Drew Serfontein talked and cooked his way into winning this week’s Port Elizabeth episode – one of three filmed in the city – of Come Dine With Me South Africa.
Drew, of Lorraine, was paired with Mill Park law student and mum Xoliswa Mtulu-Dotwana, glam Walmer housewife and mum Mariska Schewitz and vampish asset manager Jill Wakeford of WHERE IS HOUSE? in his episode on Monday night.
The hit BBC Entertainment reality cooking series saw the four strangers each getting a turn to cook a three-course meal at each others’ homes.
Drew’s diners rated him a seven, eight and eight out of 10 respectively, making him the week’s best host and winner of a R10000 cash prize.
His menu was a starter of deep-fried avo stuffed with mascarpone cheese wrapped with warthog carpaccio; stuffed fillet with cheesy mash and a brandy reduction for mains and springbokkie fridge tart for pud.
‘The dessert was the dish I was most confident about but the production team from Rapid Blue opened and closed my fridge so many times to get good shots that it didn’t set properly,” he chuckled.
“It should ideally also be made the day before but I couldn’t do that as they had to film it being made from scratch.”
Drew described the contestants’ first night at Mariska’s house as “classic”, when the bubbly hostess went flying with a full plate of food after tripping on a carpet – a move Drew convincingly recreated when it was his turn to host.
He said the secret to wining the girls over was that they didn’t see him as a threat, as they were too busy sizing each other up.
“I also chose dishes that were not complicated to cook and could easily be rectified if something went wrong,” he said. “It is a high-pressure situation and even with planning things do go wrong – like when I took my fillet out the oven and discovered it was still blue.
“Also, I’d bought a new deep-fryer and the oil wasn’t quite as hot as it should’ve been when I put the avos in.”
Drew said he especially enjoyed meeting Jill, who on her night treated guests to a round of “Come Dare With Me” and whose bedroom drawers revealed some naughty toys. “Xoliswa lost a bit of favour because she tried to be too mysterious, creating the impression earlier in the week that she was just a normal student living in a small house, but when we got to her home it turned out to be this huge Mill Park mansion.
“We all got on well together though and have seen each other since,” said Drew, who watched Monday night’s episode with his AlgoaFM colleagues over popcorn and beer at the studio.
Catch Come Dine With Me South Africa series 3 on BBC Entertainment on channel 120 on Mondays at 8pm. The final Port Elizabeth episode will be screened on Monday and will see Claerwen Hart, Theo Scholtz, Everton Hansen and Trish Difford competing for honours.
Blue cheese and fig burgers with oven-baked sweet-potato wedges
600g lean minced beef
1 tablespoon mustard
300g fig preserve (whole figs are best)
4 ciabatta rolls
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
125g crumbled blue cheese
Lettuce for garnish
2-3 large sweet-potatoes
150ml olive oil
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Mix beef, parsley, 50ml olive oil and mustard together in a large bowl. Divide into four balls.
Press a hole in the top of each ball and put 25g of blue cheese into each; cover with mince.
Flatten the meat ball to form a patty (do gently so cheese remains in the middle)
Grill patties on high for about 4-6 min each side, depending on thickness and preference.
Cut rolls and lay down a bed of lettuce. This also stops the rolls from going soggy.
Position patty and cover with a generous portion of fig preserve.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and slice burger in half allowing cheese to melt out of the sliced burger. Serve with oven-baked sweet-potato wedges.
To make the wedges, preheat oven to 200C.
Peel sweet-potatoes and cut off ends. Cut in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges.
Put into a large bowl, add the oil and mix well.
Sprinkle with salt, sugar and mix well (Drew uses his hands so all the pieces are evenly coated with oil and spices).
Spread sweet-potatoes out on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway
Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before serving.