I was invited to a lekker lunch with MasterChef SA judge Benny Masekwameng by Montecasino a few days ago. It was held at Aarya restaurant, the 1st Masterchef SA winner, Deena’s restaurant . The launch menu was inspired by rugby and the ABSA Boktown, which has become a very popular place to watch the Bokke play test rugby on the massive screens in the Outdoor Piazza at Montecasino.
Benny is such a cool oke, down to earth and easy to chat to. I asked him if he were an amateur cook, would he consider entering the Masterchef SA reality show, and he quickly replied “NO!” He said that he was not as brave as the past two series contestants. It is a very stressful cooking experience.
Deciding on what to make for this lunch event was a much more fun-filled and relaxed process for Benny and his team in the kitchen.
The rugby inspired menu had a steak roll with spicy chakalaka which consisted of grilled cajun-spiced and BBQ basted sirloin steak slices on baby rocket leaves, topped with chakalaka with peppadews, wrapped with a herbed ciabatta roll, served with a Greek side salad and baked crispy potatoes.
Although the portions were large, when biting into the roll, it almost felt light, as the sirloin steak slices were not cut too thick. Keep in mind that one had to eat it in between the herbed ciabatta roll. Benny also mentioned that he toned down the amount of spices in the chakalaka, which I enjoyed as it was tasty without the burn. The little side salad looked like the odd one out on the plate. We joked that it was probably placed on the plate to appease our guilty conscience with the heavy carbo loaded roll and baked crispy potatoes.
The lovely lunch was ended off with a real winter comfort food type of dessert, Classic Apple Crumble, which was served with mixed berry compote and Crème Anglaise.
Mishkah, what is for dinner tonight?