Search is on for the best amateur chef in the Bay

CULINARY QUEEN: Kitchen Maestro 2012 winner Elke Gerber and Pick n Pay regional marketing manager Russell Booth. PHOTOGRAPH: MIKE HOLMES

OCTOBER is just the month for anyone in Nelson Mandela Bay who loves to cook – and not just because the city is featuring prominently in the new series of the hit BBC Entertainment show, Come Dine With Me South Africa, which began screening this week.
But those who didn’t want to risk being made a fool of on the hilarious, no-holds-barred reality show have another way to cook their way straight into the spotlight – by entering Walmer Park Shopping Centre’s second annual Kitchen Maestro competition.
This amateur chefs’ competition, which is being held in association with Weekend Post, kicks off next Saturday October 12.
Home cooks get set – if cooking sets your world on fire then this could be your big break … a chance to show off your culinary prowess and earn the title of the ultimate Kitchen Maestro to boot.
Walmer Park together with the Weekend Post and sponsors are looking for the best amateur chef in the Bay – and the overall winner will win a marvellous kitchen makeover from Adel Kitchens and Cabinets, among a stack of other impressive prizes.
There is no entry fee and the competition is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is confident they can cut it in the kitchen – even when there is an audience around.
To enter, fill in the entry in today’s Weekend Post or download the entry form from the Walmer Park website at www.walmerparkshoppingcentre.co.za
Completed entry forms must be e-mailed to dcoetzee@growthpoint.co.za or else hand-delivered to the information kiosk at Walmer Park Shopping Centre, along with a photograph and recipe of any meal you have prepared at home.
Five entrants will be chosen to compete against each other in a series of live weekly cook-offs to be held at the shopping centre every Saturday, starting next weekend.
The entry deadline for each weekly cook-off is at noon on Wednesday that week.
So, to be eligible for the first cook-off next Saturday, you will need to make sure your entry reaches Walmer Park by no later than this Wednesday at 12pm.
During each of the Saturday cook-offs – five in all before the semifinals on November 16 and the finals on November 23 – there will be an invited chef who will demonstrate a dish to the audience and that weekend’s five contestants.
Each contestant will have their own work station from where they will then have to cook the chosen dish within a specified time period using the chef’s recipe – all under the watchful eye of Kitchen Maestro’s head judge, chef Dewald Hurter, of Chez Patrick in St Francis Bay.
All ingredients will be provided by Pick n Pay.
The weekly Kitchen Maestro cook-off rounds will take place from 11am to 1pm every Saturday in Walmer Park Shopping Centre’s promotions arena.
Each week one winner will be chosen for the semifinals and from those five only the top two will then make it to the finals on November 23.
“Last year’s eventual winner, Elke Gerber, went head to head with her co-competitor in the finals, Liza Vermaak, in a three-course pressure-test style cook-off,” says Danelle Bhana-Coetzee , Walmer Park’s PR and marketing manager.
“Elke went on to achieve personal culinary success by entering the KykNet Kokkedoor competition, where she made it through to the semifinal round that was hosted in Prince Albert.
“She also had fun recreating the MasterChef pressure test earlier this year, in which contestants had to recreate a lemon meringue gateau. Kamini Pather, the winner of MasterChef 2013, went on to favour and feature Elke’s effort on her Facebook page.”
Rumour also has it Elke was approached by a certain cooking and dining show (which last weekend wrapped up filming in Port Elizabeth!) but declined with the possibility of rather participating in it next year.
“And if MasterChef season three comes along I will definitely be giving that a go too!” said Elke, who will be keenly following this year’s Kitchen Maestro competition.
For more information on the 2013 Walmer Park Kitchen Maestro competition contact Danelle Bhana-Coetzee on (041)368-2690 or e-mail her at dcoetzee@growthpoint.co.za. Also check Weekend Post every Saturday for updates and recipes from the competition.

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