• MasterChef USA winner Whitney Miller gives us a peek into her world of food before she comes to South Africa for the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show…

    What can we expect from your demonstrations at the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show? I will be focusing
    on recipes from my cookbook, Modern Hospitality. For the Chefs in Action Theatre, I will demonstrate a creative use of vegetables in my bacon-wrapped stuffed Brussels sprouts and carrot soufflé. For the hands-on demo, I will demonstrate recipes with a Cajun influence – barbeque shrimp and white chocolate bread pudding.

    Your most nostalgic food memory? This revolves around my great-grandmother’s dinner table. My family often gathered at her newspaper-lined table to enjoy boiled shrimp, collected from trips on the Mississippi bayous.

    What has been your biggest culinary disaster? In the finale of MasterChef, I used a spatula to transfer my chicken from the pan to the plate and in the process I dropped the chicken on the floor. The next piece of chicken only had seven minutes to cook in the pan. In the end, although the judges deemed it impossible to cook in that amount of time, Chef Ramsay exclaimed that the chicken was cooked perfectly.

    What food fad do you wish would disappear? Using all the unusual parts of an animal so as not to be wasteful is certainly praiseworthy but there are certain parts I personally do not care to eat.

    Who cooked for you as a child and what did they cook? My mom. She not only cooked traditional Southern cuisine, but loved experimenting with different dishes. My favourites ranged from her traditional peach cobbler to
    her homemade pizza that my sisters and I would help to make.

    Where do you find inspiration in cooking? I love to get ideas from travelling and sampling foods from other cultures.

    What is always in your fridge? Buttermilk is a staple. I use it in baked goods,
    sauces and salad dressings.

    What do you think is the most underrated ingredient? Flavour-infused vinegars are often overlooked. I use them in everything from salads to meats and desserts.

    What is your favourite kitchen gadget? My microplane. I use it to grate garlic, onion, cheese and chocolate. I also use it to zest citrus fruits.

    How did you feel when you won MasterChef USA? It was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Being an athlete, it compares to playing the longest tennis match and coming out victorious.

    To find out more about the Good Food & Wine Show visit www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za.

    By Zaza Motha