We are celebrating Father’s Day with more than just a meal, we’re honouring these special men in our lives with an intrinsically South African way of life – a braai. This deeply ingrained tradition that is forged over a hot bed of coals, and the hungry smell of sizzling boerewors has a soft spot in my heart – my rugby playing / watching dad never did have a son, but rather three daughters, whom he honed and coached in the art of braaing – we were taught from an early age how to stack the wood, how to read the coals and ready them for the meat – when to turn, and prick the boerewors, while the fat on the chops crackled in perfect unison. And so, in his honour, and all the other South African dads out there, we present the braai.
Although braaing is still very much a male dominated South African social custom, remember this, ‘He who holds the tongs, holds the title of braai master!”
This home cooked table setting is a perfect medley of South African colours and materials. The starting point for any great table arrangement is the table; exposed or clothed – this is the foundation to your planning, the background template on which you will create your masterpiece – so choose wisely! Here, I have chosen a heavy weave of Hessian cloth combined and offset with local Shwe Shwe fabric (brought from the downtown Jozi market). The Hessian offers neutral tones, while the Shwe Shwe hints at a home-grown style.
Each place setting is made up of large round beaded/woven African placemat, giving a fresh take on the old fashioned ‘under plate’ (available from Amatuli 011 440 5065) Prominence is given to the overlaid bold placemats – a fiery blaze of orange colour (placemats can be hired from Tablecloth Hire in Johannesburg: 011 262 0048 / Cape Town: 021 510 3000) The crockery is a mix up of delicate orange and leopard print trimmed plates with rustic wonky ware which adds to the light-hearted and relaxed mood. The napkins are large thick wattled red and white stripe dishcloths (available from Woolworths) – extra-large napkins always look better on a table setting. In order to keep to local is lekker theme, bring in personal touches, whether old family photos or ornaments that would work well in the setting – I have blended in a hive of potted plants, from, a chilli bush, purple cabbages, succulents and a bushel of thyme. I’ve popped in a potjie, a steak knife block, tins, and my old faithful wooden dog that keeps watch over the spread to come. Don’t be afraid to display your foodie products on the table, (gone are the days of decantering everything) the latest bottles and label designs are slick and cutting edge, and can actually add more flavour to the overall table design – I’ve included the handcrafted chilli oil. I love their paper packaging, and it gives the table an extra little zing! I have added a selection of delicious Darling Brew Craft Beers (021 286 1099) stacked in a small galvanised tin, after all what is a braai without beer?
Flowers are always a necessary addition to any table setting – their colours, textures and arrangement can add so much to already dressed table. The arrangement I have chosen to accompany this setting is loose, informal with a home picked aesthetic. A wild arrangement of proteas, pin cushions, and cabbages spill over the vase, and pick up on colours that are used in the table setting. Rethink your fillers, stay away from baby’s breath, instead use a variety of green foliage, and other fillers, like Pennigum, Privet berries and Blue Hybrid Delphinium
“There can only ever be one braai master, and he/she doesn’t need or want your advice.”
This simple, yet scrumptious recipe, is very much a nostalgic part of my youth – cooked by my dad, in a roostie (braai grid) over a makeshift braai on the beach in Arniston. As the coals cooled, and the sun set, we sat happily munching on deliciously cheesy toasted sarmies. Before you start, a couple of tips from the sarmie braai master himself, my dad;
Serves 2 or 1 hungry person
“Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less.”
Dad’s Chilli sauce : A simple, but firey chilli sauce.
A handful of mixed chillis – red and green (make sure that they are not too hot) -seeds removed
1 ginger root – scrubbed clean to remove “skin”
Equal quantities of olive oil and soya sauce
Chop you deseeded chilli finely – a great tip when removing the seeds is to do it under running water. Finely grate your cleaned ginger. Mix the two together and place in a jar. Cover with equal quantity of olive oil and soya sauce
The Local Grill, 40 7th Ave, Cnr 7th & 3rd Ave, Parktown +2711 880 1946
Founded in 2002, The Local Grill in Parktown North, is one of the finest steakhouses that Jozi has to offer – with a ‘food to fork’ ethos, their beef is ethically sourced from the best farming practises and handpicked from local farmers, it’s aged on their premises and cut to order.
The Local Grill now offers a a one-stop gourmet braai store – with the best in braaing cookware and accessories, with the added convenience of purchasing instore or online the finest cuts of meat. https://www.localgrill.co.za
The most exciting addition to the Local Grill family are the two fabulous Beef workshops; the Beef Appreciation and the Beef Experience. For a great night out get a group of 8 – 12 friends, family or colleagues the Local Grill offers an amazing night of beef appreciation, from; a comparative beef tasting, the ageing processes, different cuts of meats as well as the best grilling tips that would make any braai master green.
Mzoli’s Place, NY 115 Gugulethu, 7551, Cape Town, +27 21 638-1355
Mzoli Ngcawuzele is the man behind Mzoli’s butchery. What started in 2003 as a meat market from his garage in Gugulethu, has since evolved into one of the hippest meat hangouts on the block – this extremely popular butchery cum restaurant draws the crowds – Mzoli’s is all about meat – with no frills attached. It works like this, you chose your meat from the heaped choice of trays, theres, boerewors, chops, mince or steak – you certainly won’t go hungry. Your meat is then piled high onto a smaller metal tray together with small container sized delicious barbeque marinade – tray in hand, you meander through a warren of corridors to find yourself in a haze of smoke, amidst a bundle of burning braais. The braai masters are at the ready, with eight braais on the go, and as many braai-ers they are cooking up a storm – the meat is cooked to perfection, its hot, juicy and delicously dripping with the Mizoli marinade.
You have the choice of an enormous serving of good old fashioned South African pap (R10 gets you a single portion which should suffice for 3 people or more) and an equally massive side portion of delicious bean salsa (for an additional R10). Cooldrinks are for sale on the premises, but to properly quench your thirst, pop into the house /shebeen next door where you can buy yourself a couple of local quarts and really get down to business. Enjoy your meal served sans condiments at Mizoli’s red clad restaurant which is adjoined to the butchery. Mizolo’s is a must, it’s a taste of real South African braai, with real meat, real men and real beer.