So…what does it take to deliver a mind blowing Ultimate Braai Master audition? Well, when I think about what I saw at the Cape Town Auditions last year a few things come to mind. Some of them are logical and simple food safety rules but others are a little out of the box.
If you look back at past contestants on the show you will see that not all of them had a food background and many had never done something like this in their lives before so take heart. You don’t have to be a pro…just have passion, be willing to learn and have a sense of adventure (oh, a sense of humour helps too) ;).
Ultimate Braai Master Audition Tips
• Maintain the cold chain! Do what you can to keep your raw, fresh ingredients as safe as possible. Take a gazebo along – it’s a long day in the sun otherwise and we all know what happens to meat when it has been sitting in the sun!
• Choose your menu to reflect sustainability where possible. Please don’t serve the Judges teeny tiny crayfish that really should be swimming for a few more months. It may have scraped past the ring test but it just makes the Judges sad.
• This is ULTIMATE Braai Master – please leave your sausage and rolls at home or take them along when you sell boerie rolls at the flea market. If you really want to audition with boerie rolls please make sure that you minced, spiced and stuffed the sausages yourself and you serve it with homemade rolls, the most amazing onions and a mind blowing homemade sauce.
• Take everything you think you will need AND the kitchen sink! Last year the judging teams were made up of 5/6 people. Look at what you are serving and take sufficient cutlery and crockery to suit. Please don’t ask them to all taste your food using serviettes as plates or share a fork. It looks like you came unprepared.
• You will have limited access to running water so please wash all your fresh produce well before you arrive. The Judges do notice that gritty sand sensation in your spinach dish.
• While your space is limited (think the size of a parking bay), the Judges do appreciate the effort you make to show off your food in the best light. If they need to eat what you are cooking with a knife and fork then a table and chairs would be welcome.
• The Judges have about 10-15 minutes with you so sell, sell, sell. It doesn’t have to be intense - just chat about why you chose to audition with those dishes. Having the auditioning team watch you silently while you are eating ruins the experience and please don’t look for compliments. Judges put forward the names of 5 teams that stood out for them. These will still be whittled down by Host Justin Bonello, Executive Producer Peter Gird and the production team until they have their top teams to invite to the next round of auditions.
• Whatever you decide to offer, pick a theme that will link all your offerings together (e.g. tastes of the World etc). Do not just stand in front of your open fridge the night before and chuck in whatever is there (including those overripe bananas that you want to braai). Everyone who made it through the first round last year took a lot of time to plan. Your audition is like a business proposal you would make to your bank. Over 4000 teams auditioned last year! There are only 15 spots around the fire!
• Your audition is your time to shine. Make sure your cooking is up to scratch and do something to make your team stand out. There were teams who made it through the first round of auditions last year because they had personality. This is reality TV! The production team looks for people who will entertain the viewers. Be original and make sure you are memorable for all the right reasons.
• You will be allocated a time slot for when your offering will be judged. Be ready on time. If you’re not ready please don’t tell the Judges it was the Braai Buddy’s fault. You are the Braai Master. Take responsibility!
• It is not all doom and gloom. If you have made it into the audition rounds you should be congratulated. The production team obviously saw your potential and wanted to find out more. Have fun at the auditions. A great sense of humour goes a long way and it will help you cope with the stress. If you are enjoying what you do it will also reflect well on the food you are preparing. The day is long and intense at times but it will all be worth it in the end. If you don’t make it through you can always take the lessons your learned and come back to try again next year.
Ultimate Braai Master Season 3 Time for Tough, sponsored by Pick n Pay and auditions take place on the dates below. Teams are already being shortlisted so get that entry in NOW and let’s get ready to braai!
- 8th, 9th March – Joburg
- 15th, 16th March – Nelspruit
- 22nd, 23rd March – Durban
- 29th, 30th March – Cape Town