Ash and Chris are cousins and the first #MKRSA contestants from the Cape Flats. Picture supplied

It's time to introduce a brand-new group of contestants on My Kitchen Rules SA tonight, who will battle it out over the next five weeks in the second Instant Restaurant phase of the competition.

Cape Town cousins Ash and Chris are hosting their Instant Restaurant at a Community Centre in Manenberg on the Cape Flats, where they grew up together in a small two-bedroom apartment. 

  • Ash: I am  25 years old and an old soul. I am Project Development Manager at Iris House Children’s Hospice and am driven by service of  my community and the most vulnerable in our society. Seeing them do better is my ultimate driving force. 
  • Chris: I am a young and energetic 36 year old mother of two boys. They are my world, and making sure that their world is better than the one I grew up in is my top priority. I am career driven, and am proud of my success in my field and in my current role as a Risk Officer at Old Mutual Wealth. Both Ash and I are driven by a passion to do good, and see others do better.

When did your love for cooking start?

  • Ash: I was a toddler but still remembering my Grandma working as the cook at the crèche I attended, I still remember the pride and desire to be like her, the superwoman in the kitchen. I don’t think I’ve come close to matching her creativity in the kitchen, but I think she would have considered me to be the superman in the kitchen too, and so tooChris as a superwoman.
  • Chris: Burning soup LOL. This was the first dish my mom asked me to cook as I always chopped up vegetables, and on this day I got to cook it. I use to help my grandmother and mom make pies and samosas and my mom had a take away and mobile caravan where she sold food and I helped her. In order to support the family we also use to make and sell boerewors rolls and have a dance for R5 which all the neighbourhood kids attended.

Ash and Chris from Manenberg, Cape Town. Picture supplied.

What are the dishes from your childhood you still savour today?

  • Chris: The dishes I still savour from my childhood can all be found in one recipe book, a Jungle oats one that has recipes like bread pudding, , malva pudding, koeksisters and curries.

What will you do with the prize money if you win? 

  • Ash: I will use some of it to take my family to experience the Magic that is Walt Disney World, and will use the rest to further improve the lives of children and families living with autism.
  • Chris: I will use it to assist my mom in opening a coffee shop. Its always been her dream. We use to have this caravan we pushed down the road and sold food from, sells sweets at the school gates, and today she still sells pastries from her house, so this will be my way of saying thank you to her.

We know you’re not allowed to share all the details of your Instant Restaurant, but without giving anything away, what type of food and experience can we look forward to?                                  

  • Our culture is incredibly diverse, and so too is our food. SA can expect to see a variety of foods inspired by the foods our mothers and grandmother cooked, combined with an international flair, inspired by the foods we’ve tasted from across the globe. 

Will their homely and hearty dishes, infused with global flavours, impress the discerning celebrity judges and hyper-critical dinner guests? The pressure is on like never before. To secure a spot in the next round of the competition, they have to work around the clock and against time in a challenging new space. 

My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00.