The final challenge saw Gauteng based Kaiings and Afval, KwaZulu Natal based Mix Masala, and Western Cape based Tikka Boys battle it out from breakfast until the dinner feast, which ultimately saw the Tikka Boys walk home with R500 000.00 cash, the Renault Duster 4×4 valued at R260 000.00, and the all-expenses-paid trip from Robertsons Herbs and Spices to India with Justin Bonello, a Big Green Egg valued at R15 000 each and the title of this year’s Ultimate Braai Master! The runners up each walked away with R40 000.00 worth of weekends away courtesy of Sho’t Left as well as a host of other prizes!
General Marketing Manager of Pick n Pay, Malcolm Mycroft, was thrilled to join the Ultimate Braai Master crew in Namibia at the Sossusvlei Lodge to experience the calibre of the braai cuisine first-hand: “This is what South Africa is all about: bringing the people, cultures and flavours of this diverse nation together around the fire, united by food. Not only to the naturally fitting pantries and challenges that showcase Pick n Pay’s fresh, local, sustainable and Proudly South African products, the Series also supports the Pick n Pay brand commitment to always being there for our customers. We’re pleased to be associated with a property that celebrates the quintessential South Africa pastime, the braai, in an environment that encourages creativity and rewards excellence.”
Junior Sous Chefs and best friends, Braai Master Yusuf Sujee (26) and Braai Buddy Stephen Mandes (26), are both from Cape Town and left their jobs at De Grendel Restaurant in Plattekloof to pursue their dreams of becoming South Africa’s youngest Ultimate Braai Master team.
Says Braai Master Yusuf, “I always read quotes saying that if you believe in a dream you should pursue it. The dream was to become the youngest champions of the Ultimate Braai Master ever and it happened! It was the best journey of my life – meeting new friends and the awesome crew that we worked with everyday who became our family. It was truly an incredible journey. During the final I was fasting and could not taste anything at all, so Stephen had to do the tasting and he clearly did an awesome job. When Justin announced that we had won I couldn’t believe it – it’s a dream come true! We are the champions and fully deserve it as we were the underdogs even though we are chefs! Thank you to all who made this possible.”
“Yusuf entered the competition not thinking much of it. He was invited to the auditions and asked me to do it with him. After seeing the turn-out we knew this would be a huge opportunity to get our names out in the industry. Since winning, I have been working at the wine estate. It’s been tough keeping it a secret but it feels great to be the youngest winners of this epic experience – one that I will treasure forever. The judges and crew were really cool and I had so much fun. I can’t stop saying thank you to the Cooked in Africa team and everybody involved!” says Braai Buddy Stephen.
Could you be South Africa’s next Ultimate Braai Master? Enter the Fourth Season of the Ultimate Braai Master: GAME ON now via www.ultimatebraaimaster.com.
Contestants can look forward to the ultimate 60-day extreme cuisine, 4×4 braai adventure as host Justin Bonello plans to reduce the amount of teams and increase the action! The Fourth Season contains many twists and turns as Justin has a few tricks up his sleeve that promise new dynamics to next year’s competition – GAME ON! Entries close February 2014.
Behind the scenes
Produced by local production company, Cooked in Africa Films, the Third Season of the Ultimate Braai Master: Time for Tough featured South Africa’s top 15 Braai Master–Braai Buddy teams competing in an extreme 70-day outdoor culinary road trip that saw teams crossing borders for the first time into Namibia.
Contestants were required to self-drive to 13 off-the-beaten track locations across southern Africa, including the wild West Coast of South Africa, the beautiful Dunes at the heart of the Namibian Desert, the barren Karoo semi-desert and the banks of the both the Orange and Breede Rivers. At each location, teams were challenged to push the boundaries of what can be produced on the open fire. Judges and Executive Chefs Bertus Basson from Overture Restaurant and this year’s new Judge, Petrus Madutlela from the UK, guided the teams throughout the gruelling road trip, teaching the contestant the tricks of the trade and all the essential culinary nuggets necessary to achieve Ultimate Braai Master status.
Ultimate Braai Master Host Justin Bonello says, “I remember meeting Yusuf and Stephen at the audition round as two confident young men. Watching them grow throughout the nine-week road trip and eventually taking the title was truly an amazing experience and it bears testament to what two good friends can achieve around the fire. The title is well deserved!”