Author, Dorah SitoleChef and chef Lentswe Bhengu are the judges of Flava Queens.
A COOKING competition  that combines Kasi food  with a twist has the  remaining five “Queens”  battling it out for R100 000 in prize  money on
Flava Queens see the contestants  cooking traditional township meals  while adding a gourmet touch.
The show is hosted by Chef  Lentswe Bhengu, who has worked  at Savoy Cabbage, The Roundhouse  Restaurant and Saucisse Deli,  alongside resident judge and  author of Cooking from Cape to  Cairo, Dorah Sitole.  “Viewers can expect nail-biting  entertainment as these queens  go head-to-head to impress myself  and Dorah with their dishes,”  Bhengu said.
“It’s also interesting to  watch as the weeks go by how  they grow from simple home  cooks to preparing restaurant quality  meals.”  Each week the contestant
will travel to community-based  locations where they will take part  in cooking challenges.
“The show is not only about  cooking but about family,  community and aspirations,”  Bhengu said.
“Episode by episode, you will see  the places we visit and the kinds of  challenges we implement. It may  sound easy, but it is far from it.” 
Two episodes into the show  and Flava Queens has eliminated  Louisa Mpela, a mother of five  from Johannesburg.
Five queens remain.
Boitumelo Olifant is a creative  40-year-old-cook from Alexandra  who acquired her cooking skills by  watching other people at funerals,  feasts, stokvels and restaurants.
Paulina Koloti, a 40-year-old  single mother from Botshabelo,  believes the best ingredient to put  in your food is love.  Prudence Mosito, 41, from
Midrand was raised by a chef who  taught her all her culinary skills.  Lebo Mangcwatywa is a self-taught  cook and businesswoman  who dreams of one day owing her  own African cuisine restaurant.  Sophia Ledimo, 58, is a  mother of two from Sharpville  who makes a living selling food  from her house.
As the competition stiffens,  Bhengu said the contestants would  need to up their game.
“Going further in the  competition will require the queens  to learn from the judges, take our  advice, be creative, playful and  think out of the box,” he said.
One of the things Bhengu said  he would be disappointed with was  if the contestants cooked peas.
“I grew up in the location so  I can eat just about anything.  However, I really don’t like peas.  “It reminds me of Sunday  lunch after church – it would be
overcooked, brown and mushy. I  hope the queens don’t cook peas.  However, one of my favourite  township foods is ujeqe (steamed  bread),” he said.
One queen has been eliminated  and five remain. Who will be named  the Flava Queen?
● Flava Queens every Friday  at 5.30pm on