After being crowned as the winner of MasterChef SA Season 4, Shawn Godfrey, or the ‘Roasted Dad’, has been hard at work to make an even bigger name for himself in the industry. We caught up with him to hear more about his MasterChef experience and learn more about what’s on the cards for his future.
After bingeing all of the food shows available, Shawn and his wife were watching MasterChef Australia when they saw that the South African version of the beloved cooking show was returning. They decided right then and there to enter the auditions with just a few days before competition entries closed, and as they say, the rest is history! Shawn notes that besides winning the competition, other highlights were meeting SA’s food heroes such as Chefs Mmabatho Molefe, Bertus Basson, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen and Kobus van der Merwe. He also mentioned working with Hannerie Visser from Studio H and cookbook author and TV content producer Errieda Du Toit made him feel so fortunate.
How did your story with food start?
I grew up in a home where the door was always open to chaos and it was okay to make a mess. My mom was always happy to include my sister and I when she was cooking and we had so much fun! I got more serious about cooking when I was a young teen. My mom was diagnosed with ME and so my sister and I had to start helping around in the home. I naturally gravitated towards the kitchen. The more I started cooking, the more my parents encouraged it. I’m sure even if it was a bad meal, they would still think that it was the best ever! My most vivid early cooking memory was when I made a beef lasagna for my sister and her friends, and everybody praised it so much that I gained a lot of confidence. And then of course, like many others, lockdown pushed me to experiment with cooking more, as we had to be home all the time. I have always enjoyed trying out new techniques and using new equipment – something that also came through on the show, when I was always the one with the most different types of equipment on my kitchen counter!
We see that you’ve been super busy on social media with some interesting things happening with your brand, The Roasted Dad. what’s next for you?
The Roasted Dad was born out of a deep love for food, travel and family. As a family we like to explore new destinations, where I then seek to find local food suppliers, and use those ingredients to develop new recipes and blog about it. I see it as my mission to develop, promote and hero South African food, its history, suppliers and people who make us unique. During lockdown, I started to experiment with cooking more and shared it on Instagram. Since winning MasterChef, I have gained more followers but the concept of sharing food has stayed the same. I also started an e-commerce range, sold exclusively through my website, and it consists of leather food-related products like aprons for adults and children, oven gloves, and tableware. We are also joining forces with a few local brands that are proudly South African and support a healthy lifestyle that is family-focused such as Pick n Pay and @home. Travelling as a family of five is also on the cards!
What do you love cooking at home for the family? Are your kids interested in food as well?
I rarely make the same dish twice and my kids are very much a part of this process. They love to sit on the counter and will regularly ask for tastings. I do not shield my children from any flavours and we give them the same food that we eat, giving them the opportunity to decide if they like it or not. Since winning MasterChef, I have realised that cooking can be more than just my creative outlet. I have had a lot of fun running a pop-up restaurant and hosting cook-with-me demos at Makers Landing, the V&A Waterfront. Makers Landing was the home of MasterChef South Africa as this is where the challenges were filmed, so it feels like a full circle.
Words by Fatima Saib
Photography Courtesy Images
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