Justine Drake joins Zola Nene as a judge on ‘MasterChef SA’ season 5

Justine Drake. Picture: Supplied

Justine Drake. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 29, 2024


Upcoming contestants of “MasterChef South Africa” better bring their A-game when the new season starts, if they want to get a nod from the judges.

On the back of celebrity chef Zola Nene being announced as the first confirmed judge for season five of the popular reality cooking show, veteran all-rounder foodie and cheffing titan, Justine Drake, has now been confirmed as the second judge on the panel.

The third judge will be announced in due course.

The culinary competition will see the judges bring their expertise to the show in the new season that heads to S3 from mid-June.

The competition sees 20 aspiring home cooks battle it out in the “MasterChef” kitchen over several weeks to claim the grand title and bag the R1 million prize money.

The multi-talented Drake, who has been in the industry for more than three decades, has had fans eating out of the palm of her hand with her various delicacies.

A press statement said that Drake has penned several cookbooks, worked as a food editor and columnist for popular magazines, hosted numerous television shows and has a YouTube channel, “Just Cook at Home SA”.

Although she’s excited to meet the new crop of passionate home cooks, she warns that they will need to work very hard if they want to achieve “MasterChef” status.

Justine Drake will return as a judge on “MasterChef South Africa” season 5 later this year. Picture: Supplied.

“It doesn’t arrive on a silver platter. The participants are put to the test in gruelling challenges, and to reach the top of the culinary ladder, they have to be disciplined and willing to learn.

Drake encouraged all passionate home cooks to enter the upcoming season.

“If you have a culinary vision and are ready to work hard to achieve your culinary dream, the world is your oyster with this show,” said the celebrated cookbook author and TV presenter.

Andrew Mills, chief marketing officer at Pick n Pay, the grocery chain that sponsors the show, said, “The role of ‘MasterChef’ judge fits Justine, an esteemed foodie, like a stylish kitchen glove.

“She is also a hard taskmaster who always strives for excellence.”

Visit the MasterChef South Africa website for details on how you can enter. The closing date for entries is March 15.