Sponsored by Pick n Pay and supported by Coca-Cola, Standard Bank and Renault Koleos, the final episode of reality TV series, Ultimate Braai Master was broadcast on SABC3 on Wednesday 18 December with team GoodBetterBraai taking the 2013 title of South Africa’s Ultimate Braai Master.
120 kilometers north of Cape Town, at the Die Strandloper Restaurant in the West Coast town of Langebaan, GoodBetterBraai’s Braai Master, Jacques Bester and Braai Buddy, Nadia Botha emerged victorious after an eight-hour “bring and braai” challenge between two top team rivals, Kate George and Jonno Proudfoot of Coal Play, and brothers Etienne Gersbach and Hein Gersbach of West Coast Bro’s.
Jacques, from Port Nolloth, and girlfriend Nadia, from Windhoek, won the coveted title, R500 000.00 cash and the Renault Koleos 4 x4 valued at R340 000.00 with Front Runner accessories valued at R15 000.00; with the two runners up each walking away with R100 000.00 in cash courtesy of Standard Bank Elite Banking.
General Marketing Manager of Pick n Pay, Malcolm Mycroft was thrilled with the calibre of this year’s contestants and the high standard of braai meals produced over the 60-day competition: “As a brand synonymous with good food, Pick n Pay has a proud tradition of supporting South African families and events, and is pleased to be associated with a property that celebrates a quintessential South African pastime, the braai, in an environment that encourages creativity and rewards excellence.”
Long distance partners, Jacques, a hardware shop owner from Port Nolloth without any formal cooking experience, and Nadia, a guesthouse manager in Windhoek with Chef School training, didn’t anticipate that they’d make it past the first round.
Says Braai Master Jacques, “This competition has shown me that even what you perceive as impossible can be achieved with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work! Nadia and I never gave up, even when we were running on empty and tensions were firing. Thanks to Ultimate Braai Master, our lives have been changed forever!”
Says Braai Buddy Nadia, “When Justin announced that we’d won, it felt utterly surreal. It made me feel a lot closer to our heritage because this is what we do as South Africans, we braai. To be part of the whole experience, meeting new people and making new friends, getting to know myself, being outdoors in our own beautiful country and of course, getting to know my partner better, was such an invaluable gift. Jacques and I didn’t expect to get further than the first episode, but we pushed on and now it’s such a blessing to walk away as the Ultimate Braai Masters of 2013. I have memories that I will treasure forever.”
Behind the scenes
Produced by local production company, Cooked in Africa Films, the Second Season of the Ultimate Braai Master: The Roads Less Travelled featured South Africa’s top 15 teams consisting of a Braai Master and a Braai Buddy competing in an extreme 60-day outdoor cooking road trip across the country.
Contestants were required to self-drive to 13 off-the-beaten track locations across South Africa, ranging from the lush Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Jozini Dam in Kwa-Zulu Natal to the untouched Transkei and Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, the mountain kingdom of Lesotho and the picturesque West Coast of South Africa. At each location, teams were challenged to push the boundaries on what can be cooked on an open fire. Judges and Executive Chefs Bertus Basson and Marthinus Ferreira imparted essential culinary nuggets along the journey, whilst encouraging and challenging contestants to improve their skills at every level.
Says Ultimate Braai Master Host Justin Bonello: “The first season of the series set a high standard and proved that this competition is not about throwing boerewors on the braai. It pushes the contestants to their limits, physically, emotionally and creatively. This year’s contestants came into the game with some tricks up their sleeves, delighting the judges with their ingenuity, braai smarts and on some days, their sense of humour in the face of some serious challenges. Despite the high level of talent in the Series, Jacques and Nadia consistently impressed the judges with their fearless creativity and culinary flare, so congratulations to them both. The title is well deserved!”
Could you be South Africa’s next Ultimate Braai Master? Enter the Third Season of Pick n Pay’s Ultimate Braai Master: Time for Tough now via www.ultimatebraaimaster.com.
Contestants can look forward to the ultimate 70-day extreme cuisine 4 x 4 braai adventure as host Justin Bonello takes 15 teams on a 9000km journey of dust and smoke across South Africa’s back roads – and over some borders too! Season 3 promises to deliver bigger challenges and even bigger rewards! Entries close at midnight on 14 February 2024.