A month or so ago I told about the South African National Braai Team (also known as Team Chesa Nyama Braai-B-Que). This team is the first South African team to be invited to compete in two major food competitions in the United States later this year.
The full team was announced at the Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg on Heritage Day (last week Tuesday). The battle for a spot in team (which is c0-captained by Braaiboy and Borries) was hotly contested. Superior braai skills on the day saw to it that Team Chesa Nyama Braai-B-Que will field the strongest possible team at the upcoming Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbeque in Tennessee on the 26th of October 2013. After this event the team will be travelling to Las Vegas, Nevada where they will compete in the World Food Championships from the 7th to the 10th of November 2013.
After all the regional contests around South Africa thirteen hopefuls made it through to the finals. The possibility of becoming a member of the South Africa’s National Braai Team to represent our country at both events saw some stiff competition on the day of the finals at the Good Food and Wine Show. Competitors were pulling out all stops for the opportunity to have a chance to obtain bragging rights and the reputation as one of the world’s best Braaimasters.
The judges (who included celebrity chef Hayden Quinn of Masterchef Australia fame) sank their teeth into both of the delicious dishes that were prepared on the day and debated who should be the winners. Contestants were required to prepare a whole chicken for their first dish (which was judged on presentation, flavour and tenderness). The international competitions require that the meat is smoked in the American tradition. For their second dish the finalists fired up their Weber’s and used a variety of wood chips to smoke pork ribs to impress the judges.
The finalists were praised for the high standards of their chicken and pork dishes but unfortunately there was only place for four finalists on the team. Joining Borries, Braaiboy, Sarel Loots (official representative of lead sponsors Chesa Nyama), Jimmy Baptista (co-sponsor Jimmy’s Sauces) are National Braai Team members Mike Poyiadjis, Deon Fourie, Alan Ridley & Hanroe Erasmus. The reserve member (who will remain in SA at this time) is Ed Pretorius.
Team Chesa Nyama Braai-B-Que is scheduled to leave for Lynchburg, Tennessee on the 21st of October 2013 and will travel the 2,000 miles between the two competitions in RV’s. The team is looking forward to doing well in the competitions and to pass on a little of South Africa’s braai culture as they travel across the United States. The team will be documenting their trip daily via video clips. Follow the fun and action via the Braai-B-Que website, via the Braai-B-Que Facebook page or via @BraaiBQue on Twitter.
Watch this space for regular updates in the General News category on the Junk Mail Blog.