Tarryn & Diego - pic supplied

My Kitchen Rules South Africa returns for a second season, as amateur foodies compete in teams of two for a cash prize. I sat down with the first table of cheftestants, as they shared their ideal three course meals for this winter.

Sparkling and vivacious millennials, and student besties, Minenhle Ntuli and Nomthandazo Xaba or “Minnie and Tee” as everyone calls them met at an audition and instantly hit it off. Their winter warmers are chicken boiled in tomato and green chillies, Alfredo pasta and ulusu nojeqe - which is tripe and steamed bread. 

Minenhle Ntuli and Nomthandazo Xaba - pic supplied

“We grew up eating boiled chicken. It’s straightforward to make, but there’s one ingredient we grew up with and can’t live without: Aromat!. Also, there’s no family function that takes place without tripe and steamed bread. It’s a meal that brings everyone together, and will always be a winter favourite.”

Country sisters, Rox and Spoen Green are sporty, fun-loving  farm girls from the countryside of KZN. Their winter warmers are roast bone marrow with lemon zest crumb and farm toast as a starter. 

Rox and Spoen Green - pic supplied

The main course is local roast pork belly with braised fennel, pickled mushrooms and honey roasted carrots, and for dessert, chocolate brownies served with salted caramel and a cardamom crumb. 

Inspired by locally-sourced produce and the seasonal harvest table of Mother Nature, these sisters are all about nutritious, wholesome farm-style food, with a youthful twist. 

alal and Adrie El Mohammadi - pic supplied

It was love at first sight, more than 22 years ago, when husband and wife, Jalal and Adrie El Mohammadi met at Bible College. 

Their winter warmers are spicy carrot soup, served with freshly baked Khobs (Moroccan bread). Moroccan couscous dish - with lamb knuckles and seven vegetables served on a pyramid bed of couscous for mains. 

To be followed by spiced red wine poached pear, served with vanilla mousse and granola crumble.They enjoy honest, authentic, rustic Mediterranean food and are intrigued by different cultures and languages. For them, food is a unique extra language that you speak with friends and family. 

Soon-to-be-engaged Kamisha Naidoo and Pashi Reddy are risk takers with adventurous palates. Their winter warmers are mussels served in a spicy chorizo and white wine broth finished with parsley and accompanied by a homemade garlic bruschetta. For the main course, they enjoy a slow braised oxtail cooked in a red wine and vegetable stock with fresh herbs and aromatics. 

Kamisha Naidoo and Pashi Reddy - pic supplied

It is served on a creamy parmesan polenta, which is accompanied by roasted and caramelized root veg and finished with a red wine jus. The final course is a spiced butternut pumpkin filling with infused cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla served on a shortcrust base and finished with whipped cardamom cream.Their food is a fusion of ‘old meets new’ and ‘East combined with West’ – all spiced with exotic ingredients and a love for authentic street food and culture. “We enjoy vibrant food rich in texture, comforting to the soul and packed with punchy flavours that warm the heart,” says the glamorous couple.

Tarryn & Diego - pic supplied

Married couple Tarryn and Diego Fernandez are a formidable team who complement each other in surprising ways. Their winter warmers are chicken, corn and coriander soup with homemade bread as a starter. Braised short-rib and creamy polenta as the main course and orange and dark chocolate soufflé. These are menu items, which we would associate with cold winter days, sitting in front of the fireplace with family and friends drinking wine and chatting about life.