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Local chefs in the running for $10,000

by Bongani Ndlovu
11 May 2016 at 06:53hrs | Views
Local reality television series Battle of the Chefs Harare is proving to be one of the most popular programmes on ZBCtv as people follow the culinary skills of Zimbabwean chefs who are in the running to win a cash prize of $10,000.

Now in its second season, the high quality production with 13 episodes (13 weeks) began screening last year and is sponsored by one of the country's leading supermarkets – TM Pick n Pay.

Shot in a private custom built studio in Mt Pleasant, Harare, Battle of the Chefs Harare is broadcast every Sunday at 7PM. It has experienced chefs as judges including Cherylyn Conlon, Innocent Masuku and Lincoln Myambo. It is presented by the beautiful Samantha "Zihlo" Ndlovu, a TV and radio personality.

This past week, four chefs namely Sarah Thompson, David Lupenga, Fadazi Mtuwa and Leandrah Makaya were shown how to skin a rabbit by Masuku under the African Fusion Master Class. After demonstrating to the cooks, he tasked the chefs to do the same before judging them. Afterwards, the other judges were required to make the final decision on who would be sent packing.

Thompson who had spent six weeks in the running failed to impress and was therefore axed from the competition.

Seven chefs are left in the competition with the other four expected to be taken through a demonstration by judge and chef Conlon next week. One of them will be eliminated from the show afterwards.

The programme which is similar to Chopped USA which has the same prize money of $10,000 for the winning chef is directed by Ben Mahaka (Studio 263 producer) and produced by Portia Makwamanzi, Lupenga, James Chareka and Tinotenda Mutamba.

"In each episode, a team of chefs is required to prepare three dishes – starter, main course and dessert. Contestants will be aware of the ingredients prior the shooting of the episode, therefore they are only required to come up with a dish from the ingredients provided," Battle of the Chefs Harare executive producer – Joseph Bunga said.

"The contestants are given 45 minutes to prepare the dishes. Apart from that, they have access to a pantry with a wide range of ingredients and fridge. The challenge is set to encourage creativity among participants. After every round, the judges critique every meal based on innovativeness, use of ingredients, presentation and taste of the meals."

He said the judges are quite strict as their aim is to come up with the best cook in Harare.

Producers of the show are hoping to have their production on platforms such as DStv which reach wider audiences.

"We're pushing for the show to go on DStv's Zambezi Magic as this will give the chefs/contestants more exposure. Last year, we had some of the competing chefs getting job offers as they'd been seen doing wonders on set so we're hoping the same happens this year," Bunga said.

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