MasterChef SA winner announced

Champagne corks were popped last night as the winner of the second season of M-Net’s hit reality cooking show MasterChef South Africa was announced.

The winner was Durban-born food writer and radio DJ Kamini Pather (30) whose impressive and focused final challenge performance saw her best 23-year-old chemistry masters student Leandri van der Wat from Mahikeng.

The finale, which aired on M-Net last night and set Twitter alight throughout the episode, crowned the first female winner for the SA version of the popular TV franchise.

The announcement was made by judges Pete Goffe-Wood, Benny Masekwameng and Andrew Atkinson after an intense 3-part challenge in which Kamini and Leandri were expected to take part in their final Mystery Box, Invention Challenge and Pressure Test.

For this season finale the two cooks worked side by side at stations that resembled a boxing ring while their respective family members stood close by and gave their support.

Leandri had even more shouts of encouragement from the balcony above as her sister and final three MasterChef contender Seline watched anxiously above with the rest of the Top 10.

Throughout the tasting, the judges reiterated that scoring was very close, and at the end of a mammoth face-off in the MasterChef kitchen, Kamini was announced as the winner with 89 points (out of a possible 100) versus Leandri’s 83.

As MasterChef season 2 champ, Kamini wins a host of incredible prizes, which includes a R400 000 cash prize from Robertson’s, a year’s worth of food shopping at Woolworths, a brand new VW Golf 7, a 5-night luxurious holiday in the Seychelles and a year’s supply of wine and a full sommelier course from Nederburg

As the runner-up Leandri also walks away with a cash prize of R100 000.

Gracious in defeat, Leandri congratulated Kamini and said she went into the competition to have fun. Tearing up, she told Channel24 at the finale party held in Hyde Park after the episode viewing that she wanted to celebrate her family for helping to shape the woman she is today.

“I didn’t want to go into the finale as a different Leandri. I just wanted to have fun.”

For Kamini, she said that she did not plan on releasing her own cookbook and wanted to pursue her passion to launch her own TV series.

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