Deena Naidoo proved to the world once again that he is not very good at tests, particularly when it comes to spices.
When the losing team from the market challenge the night before were told that they were identifying spices, Deena Naidoo must have let out a little ‘whoop whoop’ to himself as he went on to share with us the fact that he was going to cruise through this challenge, saying “I am so confident because I know my spices”.
We have however come to expect Deena to crash and burn when his confidence is high and then rip the competition a new one when his confidence is low.
True to form Deena crashed and then later burned when he opened up his spice box only to discover that the spices were not ground, the way that Deena knew them but as they are in nature before the mills get hold of them.
The first spice was vanilla which Deena successfully navigated along with the second, turmeric.
They were not too difficult though, ginger is yellow and turmeric is orange (its just the spelling of the word that gets most people confused)
Then came cloves and Deena was all at sea, he had never seen them in their natural form and both he and Thys took a long time to make their choices.
MasterChef SA Judge Pete Goffe-Wood had to hurry them along into making a decision, one that they both got wrong.
Sarel Loots and Sue-Ann Allen both got it right and Deena and Thys were heading into an elimination pressure test.
Someone was going home.
The pressure challenge was to recreate a Lightly Smoked Swordfish Belly with Palm Heart and Papaya Salad, Crispy Seaweed and Squid Ink Aioli.
They each had 70 minutes in which to recreate and the loser would not be going back to the MasterChef SA kitchen.
As we are learning every week with Deena he is constantly having to face challenges with techniques and processes that he is discovering for the first time and as a result his confidence levels drop and he has to be extra diligent if he is to make it through the tests.
He said, “Basically my main obstacle was curing and smoking the fish, two exercises that I have very little experience with”.
He did “realise that that was going to be my greatest challenge that would deserve my greatest attention”.
But Deena was not diligent enough and he lost track of time, over-smoking his fish which left him perilously close to going out of the competition. This despite Chef Jussi Husa, the creator of the dish, being very specific about not smoking the fish for too long.
Pete Goffe-Wood was very critical saying that all he got was “a mouthful of smoke”.
Andrew Atkinson saw it differently saying that the sword fish was smoked as it was supposed to and that the salad was cut perfectly.
Benny Masekwameng said that he did “a great job”.
It was Thys who did not do enough though and found himself saying goodbye to the MasterChef kitchen while Deena can look forward to another opportunity to embarrass himself on television next week.