Steady hands: Last years Masterchef SA winner Kamini Pather thinks this years competition will be far more challenging than the previous two seasons.

Durban - Last year’s Masterchef SA winner, Kamini Pather, originally from Durban, expects this year’s reality cooking competition to be far more challenging than previous seasons.

The reality show returned to TV screens on Thursday night for its third season.

Pather, who was crowned the winner in June last year, having beaten Leandri van der Wat in the final, has warned this year’s contestants to expect a tough and challenging competition.

“The show has evolved quite a bit since season one, so I am pretty sure it will be much more difficult this time round,” said Pather.

“I’m actually quite scared for the new contestants.”

After receiving an International Emmy nomination for the first season of MasterChef SA, the latest edition is poised to set the highest standard so far.

Season three of the cooking competition will showcase seasonal and original ingredients, new destinations, and incredible professional guest chefs – both from within our own shores as well as international cooking legends.

The judging panel has also been refreshed by the addition of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel who joins Benny Masekwameng and Pete Goffe-Wood.

The 30-year-old said she was looking forward to watching this season of Masterchef SA from the comfort of her couch.

“I’m really excited to see what this season has in store for the new contestants,” said Pather. “It’s great to see that the Masterchef SA brand is growing from strength to strength. This will benefit my career too.”

The Cape Town food blogger said winning the Masterchef SA competition last year had benefited her career significantly.

“I entered the competition with a view of doing food media one day. Masterchef has opened several doors for me and today I am doing what I really am passionate about.”

Pather is currently shooting her own food travel show called Girl Eat World which will be aired soon.

She also continues her day job as a food blogger and is also a radio host for Heart1094fm in Cape Town.

Asked if she had any advice for this year’s contestants, Pather believes that the key to succeeding in Masterchef is to remain calm.

“My ability to keep calm and have steady hands is what took me through right to the end. As soon as you get flustered you can lose it all.”

Aside from winning the competition, Pather said that her most memorable moment on the show was cooking in Ethiopia.

“It was a huge honour to cook for Haile Gebrselassie. It is a moment I will forever treasure.”

The winner and runner-up of this year’s competition will receive a host of prizes from the series sponsors: Robertsons, Woolworths, Nederburg, VW and Tsogo Sun.