Every South African knows him as Chef Benny from Masterchef SA judging fame, but we’ll always know him as Benny Masekwameng, Executive Chef at Tsogo Sun and our very own celebrity.
For the third year running, Tsogo Sun will join forces with M-Net as official hospitality sponsor of the popular hit series, MasterChef South Africa. Each episode will showcase amateur cooks who want to impress local culinary icons, Pete Goffe-Wood, Reuben Riffel and Tsogo Sun’s very own Benny Masekwameng, with their unique culinary skills. Season 3 of MasterChef South Africa is set to air on M-Net every Thursday at 19h30 from 21 August 2014.
I sat down with everyone’s favourite chef judge and found out a few facts…
A genuine South African homegrown treasure, Benny grew up in Alexandra in Johannesburg and was lured into the culinary world by his mother who supplied meals to construction workers in Alexandra as an additional income. Benny believes it is this early start helping out in his mom’s kitchen that set him off on his impressive culinary journey.
After graduating in Catering Management at the Natal Technikon, he was appointed as a Trainee at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, where he worked for more than six years, promoted over this period. The job took him overseas regularly, to promote local food at events held at South African embassies, and it was these events that taught him ’showmanship’, in interacting with the guests. Benny held various positions throughout South Africa and joined Tsogo Sun in 2006.
Benny believes that South Africa is on par with international standards of culinary flair and quality. His signature style is to craft South Africa’s favourite dishes in an unexpected modern presentation, revolutionising the textures, whilst including the natural flavours of organic ingredients – bringing personality, culinary know-how and a dash of intrigue to the table. A proudly South African chef, he focuses on using fresh, natural ingredients procured locally.
Benny’s culinary ingenuity is stimulated by his belief that food should not be clichéd, but should be appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection.
A perfect gentleman with an easy smile, Benny is passionate about sharing his culinary knowledge.
Join us every Thursday night on Mnet at 19:30 to watch Masterchef SA season 3, where Benny delights and surprises both contestants and audiences alike with his dashing dimples and wonderful personality.
If you could find out one thing about Benny, what would it be? Leave your questions in the comments section and we’ll select a few of our favourites and get the answers for you, straight from Benny himself.