'Come Dine With Me SA' S9's celeb contestants serve up entertaining tips

New episodes of the ninth season of this chaotic, laugh-out-loud competitive cooking show will premiere on BBC Lifestyle every Wednesday at 8pm for 12 whole weeks

14 November 2023 - 09:05
Actor and content creator Stephanie Ndlovu (middle right) is one of the celeb contestants on 'Come Dine With Me SA' S9.
Image: BBC Lifestyle Actor and content creator Stephanie Ndlovu (middle right) is one of the celeb contestants on 'Come Dine With Me SA' S9.

The ultimate dinner party battle is back. The ninth season of the SAFTA award-winning competitive cooking show, Come Dine with Me SA, premieres on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) on November 15 at 8pm. 

In each of the 12 weekly episodes, a group of four bold, brave contestants will vie to impress each other with their cooking and hosting skills in an effort to win a R10,000 cash prize. While some of these contestants will cook up a storm with ease, for others throwing a dinner party for a bunch of strangers with cameras rolling is a recipe for total disaster.

Needless to say Come Dine with Me SA S9 promises plenty of drama and lots of laughs — especially as the witty Dave Lamb will once again be narrating the hit show.

You may also recognise some famous faces among this season's brand-new batch of contestants: actor and content creator Stephanie Ndlovu, television presenter Bongani Bingwa and Gagasi FM radio host Nonjabulo “Njabs” Zwane will all be hosting their own dinner parties.

Ndlovu says the way to balance the stress of cooking with being the perfect host is with “preparation. I try to do as much prep ahead of my guests arriving so that I don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen and can attend to my guests, too.”

Njabs agrees: “Prep, prep, prep... Hosting can be extremely chaotic and has a lot of elements to it, so you can easily find yourself overwhelmed and having to spend all your time in the kitchen away from your guests if you don't prep what you can in advance.”

When it comes to table décor, Ndlovu’s top tip for creating the most “instagrammable” dinner party is to “simplify everything. I like a clean, fresh and simplified look and feel.”

Once again, Njabs concurs, saying “simplicity works for me. Choose a focal point you want to wow your guests with; be it the table setting, food plating, entertainment and so on.”

But will Ndlovu's and Njabs' “keep it simple” strategy see them triumph? And will they practice what they preach when it comes to prepping ahead? The wine is chilling, the table is set and the knives are out, but who will end each week's episode as Come Dine With Me SA's best host and walk away with the R10,000 cash prize? Tune in to find out. 

Catch new episodes of Come Dine with Me SA S9 every Wednesday at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174), with repeats every Thursday at 5pm. If you happen to miss any episodes, don't stress: they'll be available for viewing on DStv Catch-Up.

For more information, visit the BBC Lifestyle website and connect with the brand on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube.

How to host a winning dinner party

Follow these entertaining tips to wow your guests this festive season:

  • Get the theme right: Choose a theme that ties in with your décor, menu and entertainment for the evening. Whether it’s seasonal, inspired by a certain culture or something you’re passionate about, a well-defined theme makes for excellent Instagram content and an enjoyable experience for guests.

  • Encourage sharing: Have some fun props or accessories related to your theme to encourage guests to take photos during the dinner party. To go the extra mile, you could even create your own unique hashtag for evening.
  • Photo-worthy food: Tasty food is important, but it has to look good, too. Some easy ways to brighten up a dish include adding some herbs or garnishes for texture, planning how to plate your dish in advance and using colourful ingredients wherever you can.
  • Music matters: Create a playlist in advance to ensure it matches the mood of the dinner party. The right music can help to create a relaxed atmosphere and provides the perfect background to any insta videos that your guests might post.
  • Lighting: Bright, harsh lighting is a big no. Soft, warm lighting, however, creates a calm and cosy ambience perfect for photos. You could even decorate the room with some fairy lights, lanterns or candles for a more inviting vibe.
  • Make it personalised: Creating personalised place cards is a thoughtful touch and creates the perfect photo opportunity for guests.

This article was paid for by BBC Lifestyle and BBC Studios SA.