A ‘genius’ dessert and perfectly-cooked lamb main saw besties Abraham & Michelle take the My Kitchen Rules SA season 4 title and the R1 Million prize this week, beating Shaeem & Mas-ud by three points and Azraa & Waven by six.

Having started the competition with 10 duos, three had found their way to the final in a beautiful stone mansion perched high above Sedgefield on the Garden Route. They were greeted by their Instant Restaurant banners to remind them how far they’d come – and were tasked by the judges to show their progress, in their food. The three finalist duos had to produce a three-course meal that showed their strengths while honouring their culture and heritage, which would be judged by MKRSA judges David Higgs and J’Something, along with kitchen superstars Siba Mtongana, Zola Nene, Wandile Mabaso and Kayla-Ann Osborn. The judges would each give a score out of 10 for the overall menu, based on presentation, creativity and flavour.

Abraham & Michelle chose to cook a Curried Sweet Potato Stack, Leg of Lamb with Corn and ‘Brandy & Coke’ dessert. Azraa & Waven presented a ‘Rocket Chip’ salad of rocket, butternut & beetroot in a fried potato tower, Thai chicken curry and Panna Cotta & and Rose Jelly. Shaeem & Mas-ud cooked Aubergine Parmigiana, Butter Chicken & Naan and Kheer (Rice Pudding).

Zola found Shaeem & Mas-ud’s starter inviting but thought it could use some salt and Wandile said that the best Italian food is prepared by home cooks, so there was no excuse for a lack of flavour. Zola felt Azraa & Waven’s starter overpromised in terms of presentation and Kayla-Ann was left wanting more goats’ cheese. Although Zola thought Abraham & Michelle’s starter had an interesting colour, it lacked finesse. Siba felt that the individual elements were great and thought the dish would have been better if they were served individually.

After two more hours of cooking, the main courses were served. Siba thought Abraham & Michelle’s lamb dish was inviting and enticing and Wandile found the meat well-cooked and seasoned. Wandile highlighted the slow-burn ‘kick’ in Shaeem & Mas-ud’s Butter Chicken and Zola said that while the curry would have received a 10/10 from a spicy curry lover, it was a bit hot for her. She thought that Azraa & Waven’s Thai Chicken curry had split and that it wasn’t as ‘warm & fuzzy’ as Shaeem & Mas-ud’s Butter Chicken. Kayla-Ann was confused by the mix of Indian and Thai spices, while Wandile found the chicken breast overcooked.

Suddenly, it was time for the final dish of the season: dessert. Zola said she had been worried about Azraa & Waven’s ‘jiggly’ Panna Cotta and the rose jelly, but that the texture had been interesting, while Wandile described the dish as ‘beautifully done’. Kayla-Ann found Abraham & Michelle’s dessert sweet until the lemon gel kicked in and levelled the dish out, but Wandile loved it and said the flavour was ‘amazing’. The red and green tuile in Shaeem & Mas-ud’s dessert reminded Siba of a Sari and Kayla-Ann found the texture ‘spot-on’ and creamy.

Having given their all in the kitchen, the duos could only watch and wait as the judges read out their scores:

Shaeem & Mas-ud: Zola, Kayla and Wandile all scored them a 6; with an 8 from Siba and 7’s from David and J’Something for a score of 40. Azraa & Waven picked up sixes from all the judges except Siba with 7, to score a total of 37. Abraham & Michelle were scored sevens by all the judges bar Siba with an 8, for a total of 43 – crowning them the winners of MKRSA season 4.