Kamini crowned SA's latest Masterchef

Andile Ndlovu

KAMINI Pather, a Cape Town food blogger, was crowned Masterchef last night. She outcooked Leandri van der Wat, who, when it came to key moments, was klutzy in comparison. The popular reality cooking competition culminated in a 90-minute special, after three months of gruelling cooking.

The 29-year-old Durban-born, Cape Town-based Pather got 89 points to Van Der Wat's 83.

An announcement party was held in Hyde Park last night, where both competitors kissed and hugged against a backdrop of strobe lights and music, as if they had just discovered the result.

In truth, the finale was filmed in January.

Pather follows Durban's Deena Naidoo, who won the inaugural local edition of the show, a runaway success globally.

Pather said she was chuffed to cook against Van der Wat in the final because "it needed to be a fight, and you, my girl, are a fighter".

"We filmed a long time ago, but right now it feels surreal – all those cameras. I hope my pictures came out well because my cheeks hurt," Pather said.

She had everyone laughing from her response, when asked how difficult it was to keep the secret quiet so long.

"It was easy to keep the secret because the contract was simple; we'll sue you and we'll take your money," she said.

She is not interested in opening a restaurant or putting out her own cookbook(s). What is she planning on doing with the prize money?

The first thought that came into her head was to "rent a yacht and live like a rapper". But she's a little smarter than that.

M-Net's head of original productions, Anne Davis, said it was too early to say whether there would be a third season.

Van Der Wat said: "Learning to lose was a difficult process. It's a lesson in humility – sitting in a press conference as a runner-up, in such a national platform, is not a great thing."

Pather took home a cash prize of R400000, a new VW Golf 7, a five-night holiday in the Seychelles, a year's free shopping at Woolworths valued at R100000, as well as a year's supply of wine and a full sommelier course from Nederburg.