8 August 2012

Masterchefs do the honours

Australian Masterchef, Neil Perry, teams up with our own Masterchef South Africa judge, Benny Masekwameng.

Neil Perry and Benny Masekwameng Neil Perry and Benny Masekwameng

I used to watch Neil Perry on TV and 10 years later is a major honour to cook with him and create a fusion experience for our guests. Benny Masekwameng, executive chef, Tsogo Sun.

On Monday 6 August, 2 charismatic chefs took to the kitchen at Tsogo Sun’s 54 on Bath hotel in Rosebank: Australian Masterchef Neil Perry and our own Benny Masekwameng, local Masterchef judge.

Perry is known as a celebrity chef in Australia and is a frequent guest on the Australian Masterchef television show. He also holds the title of executive chef for Qantas and runs the renowned Rockpool group of restaurants. He travelled to South Africa as a guest of South African Tourism, along with a group of Australian journalists.

Our own Benny Masekwameng – Tsogo Sun’s executive chef – became a household name in the South African version of Masterchef, launched earlier this year and watched by thousands of South Africans. He was thrilled at the opportunity to spend time with Perry, conjuring up delicious dishes and combining their skills.

Masekwameng says, ‘I used to watch Neil Perry on TV and 10 years later it is a major honour to cook with him and create a fusion experience for our guests.’

The chefs got together in the kitchen of Level Four, 54 on Bath’s new restaurant, to cook up a proverbial storm, using the best fresh produce available. Perry and Masekwameng created a menu that was a feast of African and Asian flavours and influences. Dishes included: rich and noble congee of prawn with anise peanuts and chilli oil; steamed kingklip Jiangxi style; and twice-cooked chicken with yam and ginger puree and pickled cucumber. The delicious meal was finished off with a delectable panna cotta with berries, leaving guests enthralled with the theatre of food they had experienced.

On his journey to South Africa, Perry was able to take some time out and visited the Maputaland area in Kwa-Zulu Natal where he stayed at &Beyond's Phinda Lodge, which he declared on Twitter, is ‘the best place on earth’.