Ultimate Braai Master Season One Wrap Up Party

The Contestants

Mzansi Style Cuisine was invited to the Ultimate Braai Master Season one wrap up party.  The party was held at the Cape Point Vineyards with sunset views to die for.  Drinks were flowing, the food was on point – braai master style and there was no shortage of entertainment.  My kind of party!

Had a quick chat with the host, bush-cook guru and cookbook author, Justin Bonello.  His passion for African food is infectious!  He said “I’m so proud to be associated with a show that’s so uniquely South African.  We couldn’t have foreseen the immense talent and ingenuity of our contestants, who put their lives on hold to be part of our braai evolution.  In hindsight, I wonder if I could have come through all the challenges we dished out in the first season the Ultimate Braai Master!  The intention was to reinvent and showcase the best braai-inspired dishes ever seen in a reality TV Series, and based on the cookbook that we’ve published from the series, I think we achieved what we set out to.”

We got to meet the behind the scenes crew, the judges, the contestants and we got to taste some of the dishes they prepared during the competition.  I took advantage of the opportunity to have a brief chat with the winners, Elaine and Tubby.  They are such an incredible duo!  You have got to love their drive, ease and I enjoyed listening to their life experiences.  Tubby has lived an interesting life and it was interesting to hear some of his international experiences.

This is what he says about his experience on the show “Being part of the Ultimate Braai Master enabled me to make fantastic new friends, and thanks to the tireless advice from Bertus and Marthinus my cooking skills have improved immensely.  Winning the competition has also given me renewed confidence in almost all aspects of my life, and with my share for the winnings, my wife Helen and I plan to kick-start our daughters’ savings, and eventually build a cottage on a farm in the karoo.”

Elaine touched up on how she incorporated some of her past experience as a restaurateur into their dishes and how they managed to come up with recipes within a short space of time during the gruelling competition.

Winners of UBM Season One Elaine & Tubby with Thuli


Elaine’s thoughts on being part of Ultimate Braai Master “The physical aspect was especially challenging, but the experience increased the appreciation of my country.  The pictures in my head will be with me forever,” she said “Given the physical and emotional pressures we were all under, the friendships we forged became immensely close in a relatively short space of time.  I know that the friends I made on the show will be forever.”

The Food!


Judging from the conversations I had with some of the contestants, they have embraced the opportunity, meeting exciting people from diverse backgrounds, experiencing new surroundings.  It was an opportunity of a life time never to be forgotten.  I’m sure having their recipes in the Ultimate Braai Master Cookbook also sweetens the pie!

One of the judges, Marthinus Ferreira dished up about his restaurant, DW eleven-13, which I’m yet to visit.  Certainly cannot wait for that one!

The Judges


If you feel like you have it in you to face the challenges that come with being a Braai Master while exploring the country and delighting in different dishes from interesting people then here’s you chance.

The competition invites all food lovers who consider themselves above average cooks, aged 18 years and older, to put their passion for cooking on an open fire to test over 60 days in some of South Africa’s most off-the-beaten track locations.  Season two is now open for entries until 15 February 2013.  Enter on their website www.ultimaterbraaimaster.com

Check out more pictures from the UBM wrap up party here

Author Info


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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