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Twice as nice

Twice as nice

They’re glam, gorgeous and unstoppable in the kitchen – meet My Kitchen Rules (MKR) SA finalists, Charnell Young and Kerry-Anne Sonn.

Kerry-Anne Sonn:

What made you enter MKR SA?

Charnell! She knew that I had been wanting to move away from the clothing industry and do something new and exciting, so she sent me the link and asked if I wanted to enter. Of course I said ‘yes’, without even giving it a thought.

What would you say was the one thing people watching MKR did not realise about the reality of being there?

It’s not all fun and glam! The anxiety is real! When you cut your finger, it feels far worse than when you do it at home!

Where do you get your foodie inspiration from?

Sometimes from ingredients in the supermarket, sometimes from magazines or cooking shows, but mostly from my hunger and my absolute need to eat good food!

How and when did you discover your passion for cooking?

I started cooking when I was nine, but my passion for cooking only came about much later on. I became more adventurous and creative when I moved to Johannesburg 12 years ago. In 2012, I entered MasterChef SA Season 2 and made it to the Top 50! Now I cook to nourish, but more importantly, to bring people together!

What influences your cooking or cooking style?

Let’s be honest, not every day is a three-course meal or extravagant dinner! Watching my mother come home and cook something so good after being at work all day. Most days (when I don’t feel like grocery shopping) I’m influenced by what’s in the fridge or pantry. I pride myself on being able to whip up something with the ingredients I have at my disposal.

What kitchen utensil do you use the most?

Tongs. They are great for absolutely everything.

What’s your most loved (and least favourite) part of cooking?

My most loved part of cooking is being in the kitchen by myself, getting all my ingredients ready, selecting a playlist and pouring a glass of wine. I love it when the house is filled with delicious aromas. This is by far the best part of my day. Sometimes I can hear my children playing or screaming nearby and it feels like home. My least favourite is cooking rice. I can’t stand it!

Where’s your fave eating spot?

Locally it’s La Rosa – I absolutely love Mexican food and they never disappoint.

What’s your signature dish?

I’m not sure I have one … but if I had to choose, I’d have to say lasagna – I make it more often now because my kids love it!

What is your favourite meal to eat?

Who has one favourite? That’s crazy! Top three: pasta, curry and cheese – cheese is a meal, right?

Is there anything you don’t like eating?

Avocado (I know, I know, it’s weird)

What is the one thing you can’t do (and wish you could!)?

Sing! I would love to be able to sing but unfortunately I sound like a cat giving birth. The only time I sing is in the car, alone, where no one has to suffer.

If you had to create a dessert that sums you up perfectly, what would it be and why?

Definitely a trifle. A trifle has very traditional roots and that’s what it represents for me. The comfort and stability of family with all its routines and traditions. The thing about a trifle is that while it is very traditional, it can be adapted and modernised for the event or mood, it can be both boring and very innovative, but still serves its purpose.

If you had the opportunity to invite a celeb to dinner, who would you invite and what would you prepare?

Ellen Degeneres – I’d make her a mutton curry and koeksisters for dessert!

Describe the feeling of having been in the final …

A great achievement that made me incredibly proud and emotional. Proud because we are just two regular home cooks with families and jobs and we took on this enormous challenge. Emotional because we shared so many special moments, learned so much about ourselves and about one another.

Describe your home kitchen …

The perfect balance of chaos and calm. A place where food is created and shared and the warmth doesn’t only come from the oven.

Where to from here?

Of course our culinary adventure in Zanzibar. I’ve also just launched my content hub (URL) where you can follow my journey, learn tips and tricks in the kitchen and subscribe to my weekly vlogs. YouTube is going to be a huge focus for me this year as I want to connect and share with my audience regularly! You can also follow me on social media as I really love connecting with my followers and learning more about them. Visit www.kerrysonn.com

One thing few people know about you?

I can write backwards with very little effort.

Name a job you had which people would be shocked to know about …

I was once a receptionist at Rentokil South Africa.

What did you love most about working together?

Our mutual respect for one another, drinking wine while practising recipes, and all the laughter!

Charnell Young:

What made you enter MKR SA?

It was completely on a whim. I never watched the show, didn’t know much about it, and yet when I saw the advert calling for auditions, I was intrigued and curious and thought, ‘Why not?’

What would you say was the one thing people watching MKR did not realise about the reality of being there?

The many hours it takes to film one scene. Just walking into Kitchen HQ would sometimes take three or four re-shoots.

Where do you get your foodie inspiration from?

I have always loved watching cooking channels, from an early age. As I grew older, I was inspired by the simple home-cooking style of chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, and local chefs like Reuben Riffel and Sarah Graham.

How and when did you discover your passion for cooking?

I discovered my real passion when I got married – between trying to impress my husband with dinner every night and having to entertain friends at home during weekends. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to replicate recipes and experimenting with different flavours and textures, and of course when the dish was a total flop, I tried to at least make it look appealing.

What influences your cooking style?

I love cooking with spices, and Cape Malay cooking is definitely a big influence.

What kitchen utensil do you use the most?

My MKR sponsored chef’s knives and a wooden spoon!

What’s your most loved (and least favourite) part of cooking?

My least favourite part is definitely handling and cleaning raw meat. My favourite is tasting and plating.

What’s your fave eating spot?

Bolton Road Collection – I love the industrial-chic look, and the vibe and food are amazing.

What’s your signature dish at home?

Butter chicken curry and rice.

What is your favourite meal to eat?

Any curry. Oh, and sushi!

Is there anything you don’t like eating?

Mushrooms! They make no sense! Bleh.

what is the one thing you can’t do (and wish you could!)?

I wish I could do magic!

If you had to create a dessert that sums you up perfectly, what would it be and why?

Gosh – I’m really not a dessert lover so this is a tough one. Maybe a Malay koeksister! Golden brown on the outside, rolled in speckles of glamour, with a sweet, comforting personality!

If you had the opportunity to invite a celeb to dinner, who would you invite and what would you prepare for him/ her?

Bear Grylls. This guy needs to stop eating ‘goggas’, so I’d serve him a lovely steak, garlic potatoes and veg!

Describe the feeling of having been in the final …

The toughest, most exhilarating, proudest, and most fulfilling moment.

Describe your home kitchen …

My kitchen is functional – it’s spacious(ish), light and open. I need more cupboard space though, and a bigger central island.

Where to from here? What are your future plans after the show …

Kerry and I are currently working with AfricaStay on a promotional trip in May, when people will be able to join us on a culinary adventure in Zanzibar. Travellers will get to spend five fun-filled days with us, cooking and exploring this magical place. More details are available on all our social media platforms as well as at www.africastay.com.

One thing few people know about you?

I hardly ever eat chocolate, but love white Easter eggs!

Name a job you’ve had that would shock people …

I was a sign-writer for Shoprite (not really a shocking job).

How did you become friends and how long have you been friends?

We became friends five years ago. We met at a mutual friend’s house.

What did you love most about working together?

Our synergy and respect for one another.

Follow the ladies on Instagram – @kerry_sonn, @charnellyoung & @charnellandkerry

 

Text: Chemélle Barnard. Photographer: Jaco Bothma, www.empirephotography.co.za. Hair and makeup: Elaine Boshoff & Antoinette de Beer, EA Academy MUD Westrand, 082 885 3577,/073 681 9516. 

 

 

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