Ultimate Braai Master visits the Eastern Cape Highlands

By Ed Herbst

The farm, Birkhall near Barkly East, which belongs to Basie and Carien Vosloo, the owners of this website, could well feature as a venue in an episode of the popular SABC3 reality-based television series, Ultimate Braai Master, now in its second year.

More than six thousand aspirant braai masters took place in last year’s event. They were whittled down in a process of elimination to 15 two-person teams that were then taken on a gruelling, tension-filled journey which saw cook-outs take place over two months and a series of venues which took the contestants 8000 kms from start to finish.

In early February, director Wesley Volschenk and producer Megan Tinkler from the series’ production company, Cooked In Africa, booked into the Walkerbouts Inn in Rhodes to start scouting locations and also on their prospective list are Rhodes itself and the recently-resuscitated Tiffendel ski resort near the village which is now open winter and summer.



Host Dave Walker suggested that in addition to Tiffindell the team look at Birkhall as a possible episode venue.

Rhodes is sheep-farming country and not only does Birkhall have its own abattoir, it also has some exceptionally productive trout dams – all of which offers intriguing culinary alternatives for the competing barbeque specialists.

The stakes are high – the competition is sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay, Coca Cola and Renault and in December the winner will take home half a million rand in cash and a Renault Koleos 4×4 costing R325 000 as well as a coveted title.


Each of the fifteen teams in the final consists of a braai-master and his or her braai buddy. Everyone wins however because the total prize money exceeds a million rand and the series provides experience and television exposure for each of the finalists.

The anchor for the series is Justin Bonello who, since 2006, has starred in his own BBC series, “Cooked”. As was the case with last year’s series, a book containing the winning recipes will be published at the conclusion of the show and it will be available at all Pick ‘n Pay outlets.

SABC3 will broadcast the first in the 13-episode series in September and the winner will be announced in December.


The director of Ultimate Braai Master, Wesley Volschenk, at the gate of Birkhall farm with Basie and Carien Vosloo.

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