EASTERN Cape foodies are in for a major treat when they get to tuck into 12 episodes of the popular Come Dine With Me South Africa series, three of which are to be filmed in Port Elizabeth.
Auditions in the city, which followed on-air calls to enter and e-mail flyers sent to various companies in Port Elizabeth, have already been completed for series three of the BBC television show and filming is expected to take place next month.
"Two episodes were originally planned for Port Elizabeth, which meant eight contestants. But after our auditions, we were so impressed by the applicants, we decided to add an extra episode, making it three episodes in total for Port Elizabeth in series three, so that is 12 Port Elizabeth-based contestants in total," the show's executive producer, Kee-Leen Irvine, said this week.
While the broadcast schedule has not yet been determined, the locally produced episodes will be flighted along with the rest of the 12-episode series, starting on September 30.
"Having done all the Port Elizabeth auditions, I was truly impressed by how passionate the Port Elizabeth foodies are. In previous years, Port Elizabeth was often regarded as a bit of a culinary desert, so I was blown away by the love of cooking and entertaining that I experienced and I look forward to our hosts from the Friendly City claiming their space on the culinary map," Irvine said.
Asked to provide some insight into the Nelson Mandela Bay contestants, she said that they were not all from one particular area in the city.
"We mix up the episodes as much as we can so we have male and female, young and old, people from different cultures and all walks of life all coming together to share each other's cooking and entertaining skills," Irvine said.
"We have such a range of colourful characters in Port Elizabeth that I am looking forward to some really vibrant episodes," she said.