The kings are back. Afrikaans singer Gerhard Steyn and his best buddy, actor Alvin Bruinders, are once again on a food journey in the lifestyle show Konings Van Kitskos S5 – and this time they have an even bigger appetite!

“In this season we take things to a new level,” says Alvin. “We are in overdrive. There is a different sort of energy between me and Gerhard as we travel to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and visit a variety of restaurants and food trucks, test out their menus and even get busy in the kitchen.”

Gerhard adds that aside from the tantalising new energy between him and Alvin, viewers can expect the usual banter between the friends, as well as the bets and challenges they dare each other to do – all in the name of food. “There is no one other I would want to present this show with than my best buddy Alvin. The laughs and fun we have together is like nothing else and makes for the best entertainment,” says Gerhard.

Highs and lows

Gerhard, Alvin and the crew had plenty of roadblocks and pitstops to overcome while filming the season.

“Time was an issue,” says Gerhard. “We started filming in February and March just before the lockdown (from Friday 27 March in South Africa) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to squeeze in the filming of two episodes per day.” That came with a lot of pressure and stress to get things right in two takes or less, but in the end the guys managed to visit 26 restaurants (two per episode) in Durban, Umhlanga, Pretoria and Johannesburg to feature them in the 13 episodes of the new season.

Some challenges in this season, which Alvin also sees as highs, are the bets that he and Gerhard make to see who the true king of food is. “In episode 2, we visit Ba-Pita restaurant in Melville in Jozi, where they serve some of the hottest chilli sauce,” says Alvin. “Gerhard challenges me that I can’t handle the sauce in any way, and because I never back down when I am challenged, I take things to another level by putting the sauce in my eyes,” Alvin admits while chuckling.

And yes, that was eye-wateringly insane. “The production assistant had to run to a pharmacy to get me some salve,” adds Alvin as he struggles to contain his laughter. “The pharmacist was even confused as to why someone would put chilli sauce in their eyes.”

Chop art

The guys aren’t just eating food – they’re learning about it too, and from the professionals. At the end of the season Gerhard and Alvin make a pit stop at Fork & Cleaver restaurant in Durban, where Alvin gets the opportunity to learn first-hand from a blockman (a butcher who breaks carcases down into the classic cuts) how to cut meat. “It’s one of the best experiences in my life,” tells Alvin. “I truly have a newfound respect for blockman and their craft.”

Restaurant trends 2020

“The restaurant industry is precious,” says Gerhard. “Especially in these strange times. Since working on this show, I have developed a new respect for restaurant owners and the hard work they put into their establishments. It’s sad to think that most of them will only be able to be fully operational by level 1 of this lockdown.”

Alvin agrees and points out that these days, restaurants also need an X-factor to attract more customers. “An ordinary menu alone will not cut it anymore. You need a diverse menu with all sorts of cuisines and choices for vegetarians to vegans. Even a craft beer brewery in your backyard if that’s what is needed to stand out.”

In the meantime, while most South Africans are still cooped up in our houses and a lucky few are ordering deliveries just for a taste of the outside world, we can tune into Konings Van Kitskos S5 and add some of the restaurants Alvin and Gerhard visit to our post-lockdown bucket lists. It will be a treat to visit!

Watch Konings Van Kitskos on Wednesdays on VIA ( DStv 147) at 17:30, and stream the latest episodes with DStv Now and Catch Up

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