As The Taste Master sets its sights on this week’s epic finale, Alex Torrão’s journey has been cut short as the search for Afternoon Express’ resident foodie heats up.

This week, final three Boitumelo ‘ChewMe’ Mogoai, Alex Torrão and Charmaine Ramalope-Makhubela visited the popular Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Cape Town where guest judge and Woolworths Food Director Abigail Donnelly tasked the contestants with setting up their own food stall and serving ten secret shoppers, as well as the general public, who would then rate the contestants’ creation on a secret score card.

The contestants were judged on their dish’s taste, presentation, costing, interpretation of the brief and sales. The stakes were high as the final two walk away with the trip of a lifetime as they travel to Belgium and experience one of the world’s greatest Christmas markets while embarking on their final challenge.

Each of the contestants brought something unique to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market but ultimately, it was Boitumelo Mogoai who won the hearts of both the judges and the public with her unqiue spin on Okonomiyaki – a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. “We felt that Tumi’s dish was really inventive. She went out on a limb and did something she has never done before but she nailed the flavours,” judge Zola Nene says.

As a frontrunner throughout the initial stage of the competition, it was a hard goodbye for Alex Torrão who, despite scoring the least amount of points in this challenge, has proven to be an exceptional foodie. “Unfortunately, your short rib let you down this week because it wasn’t tender enough and that was part of your downfall,” Zola Nene continues. Gregory Czarnecki adds that “Your sauce was delicious but the meat was simply too tough and when it came to the rest of your garnish, while the noodles were great, your greens didn’t have enough tanginess and spice and that was what we were looking for on a dish like yours so, unfortunately, it didn’t deliver today.”

Unfortunately, Alex’s time on the competition has come to an end but says the experience has been an incredible one. “My journey on ‘The Taste Master’ has been amazing. I’ve cooked, I met really great people, I’ve been inspired, I’ve motivated and I’ve done everything that I possibly could,” Alex says. “I take away the joy of my fellow colleagues, the judges, all of the guest judges and I’ve showcased who I am to South Africa. I enjoyed the entire run and I wish the girls the best of luck going forward.”

Tomorrow night, the competition comes to a close as Boitumelo and Charmaine jet off to Belgium and are put to the ultimate test in the finale of the debut season of The Taste Master. The two finalists learn the art of brewing a premium European lager and the essentials of taste. Thrilled by new recipes, ingredients and the atmosphere of Christmas markets, they return to host their final occasion where one of them will be crowned Afternoon Express’ next resident foodie.

Catch The Taste Master every Tuesday at 19h30 on SABC 3. For more information, visit www.thetastemaster.co.za.

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