How to win 'Come Dine With Me South Africa'

Fancy wining and dining your way to a cash prize? Applications are now open for a new season of this popular reality show

11 July 2017 - 14:12 By Deena Robinson
Cheers to a new season of 'Come Dine with Me South Africa'.
Cheers to a new season of 'Come Dine with Me South Africa'.
Image: iStock

With the popular show Come Dine With Me South Africa returning to television in early 2018‚ home cooks around the country have a chance to plan the perfect dinner party in exchange for a spot in the limelight and a cash prize.

After a three-year break‚ BBC Lifestyle will film a new 12-part SA series in four cities - Cape Town‚ Durban‚ Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Applications to become a contestant are open until August 6.

To help winers and diners in their bid to win the R10‚000 prize‚ TimesLIVE enlisted the expertise of events coordinator Zenobia Davids at Blue Olive Events‚ to give her advice on how to host the perfect dinner party.

“Timing is everything‚” Zenobia says. “You don’t want your guests to wait too long for food or they will get irritable and the mood will just go downhill from there.”

The show has seen its fair share of difficult guests.

Zenobia says that preparation is key when dealing with picky eaters. “A good host will always have a vegetarian dish on hand‚" she says - even if you are not expecting a guest to veto your meat menu.

"Make this dish large enough to sustain the guest without the main option‚" Zenobia recommends.

When all else fails‚ she says‚ “order take-out to ensure the guest is satisfied”.

For entertainment‚ Zenobia recommends an elegant approach. “If possible‚ get someone to sing at the party or play some lively jazz music.”

Themes are often a cause for debate‚ with some people considering them to be off-putting to guests but Zenobia says this is a “lovely way to liven up a dinner party” and suggests a masked theme or 1960s-inspired theme.

For contestants keen to clinch the winner’s title‚ Zenobia has a tip that may tip the scores in your favour: Be a popular guest at fellow hosts' evenings.

“Bring something along with you - a bottle of wine or flowers‚ for example - even if you haven’t been asked to do so. Do not mock your host’s cooking or brag about how your dinner party was better - let your rating do the talking‚" she says.

Finally‚ for nosy guests‚ Zenobia has a suggestion. “Don’t snoop in your host’s cupboards or drawers - it’s called privacy.” - TimesLIVE