THE CONTESTANTS

Brian ‘the German’ and Sfiso ‘the Zulu’ have been braai buddies for last 7 years. With a knack for pork belly and baked goods on a braai, Ebony & Ivory are amped to be part of the adventure but don’t take too kindly to folks telling them how to braai. Will that include the judges?

Who is the Braai Master? Brian Müller aka. “The German”
Who is the Braai Buddy? Sfiso Nsele aka. “The Zulu”
What are your day jobs? We’re both professional chefs
Where are you from? Originally from KZN but now we live in the Kruger Park
How did you decide on your team name? Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s song
What is your signature braai dish? Pork belly and fresh homemade bread on the fire
What are you most looking forward to on The Ultimate Braai Master 5? Braaing at the most amazing locations across the country! Meeting the other teams, making new friends, working with Justin, Pete and Benny. There are so many!
Any braai pet peeves? Someone else telling us how to braai! Don’t touch my fire!!
Do you have any braai traditions? Always have an extra fire on the side. Also, it’s not a braai is there isn’t any pap and sheba or braai broodjies.
Wood, gas or charcoal? Wood. Wood. Wood!
Anything else you want us to know? We have been walking this road together for the last 7 years. We feed each other’s enthusiasm for food and creating new, exciting dishes! Black and white is the way to braai! Here comes Team Ebony & Ivory!

Belinka and Merle from Cape Town are trading their office chairs for braai grids for this season of Ultimate Braai Master. Armed with their traditional roosterbroods, a positive attitude and a thirst for adventure, they claim that UBM will never be the same again.

Who is the braai master? Belinka Forbes
Who is the braai buddy? Merle Rancke
Where are you from? Athlone, Mitchells Plain, Cape Flats
How did you decide on your team name? We have conquered every obstacle placed in our pathway, making this our Empire
What are your day jobs? Belinka; Event co-ordinator and project manager

Merle; Marketing assistant

What is your signature braai dish? Can in a chicken
What are you most looking forward to on UBM5? The adventure, meeting new people and of course all the braaing.
Do you have any braai pet peeves? Bad timing, bland/tasteless foods and briquettes
Do you have any braai traditions. Yes, we love doing roosterbroods and cupcakes
Wood, gas or charcoal? Wood
Anything else you want us to know? This is obviously the opportunity of a lifetime. We’re filled with positivity and looking forward to hitting the road. All we would like to say is hold onto your seats because UBM will never be the same again. To the EMPIRE!

France called upon his 22-year-old work colleague Corvin at the last minute, to join in on the adventure of a lifetime. Taking their name from the Sesotho word fun, these chefs are hoping to walk away with the title, one signature basting at a time.

Who is the braai master? Surprise Mogano
Who is the braai buddy? Corvin Pietersen
What are your day jobs? Professional chefs at the Saxon Hotel
Where are you from? Surprise; Soweto

Corvin; Originally from Cape Town

How did you decide your team name? It’s taken from the word fun ‘Monante’
What is your signature braai dish? Whole grilled chicken with home-made BB basting; Sweet and sour pork rashers
What are you most looking forward to? The adventure of a lifetime
Any braai pet peeves? A dirty braai grid
Do you have any braai traditions? Braai brootjies are always a must
Wood, gas or charcoal? Charcoal
Anything else you want us to know? Anyone can cook but only the fearless can be great!

Husband and wife duo Peter and Desiree are braai traditionalists who put their heart and soul into each and every braai they attend. As Peter is a butcher by trade his ‘vleis’ experience might be an advantage. Will these skills be enough to bring the title back to Somerset West?

Who is the braai master? Peter Ilgmann
Who is the braai buddy? Desiree Ilgmann
What are your day jobs? Peter; Butchery manager

Desiree; Housewife

How did you decide on your team name? Well, we were around the fire, firestorming. And, I know that Peter is very confident on the braai and not afraid to get Griddy, whereas I’m pretty good with side dishes, salads and puddings. So, together we are Pretty Griddy and it just makes sense. Prety griddy means anybody who is great at cooking up an awesome meal on the fire.
What is your signature braai dish? Too many to mention as we like to braai a variety of things. Going to the shop and seeing whats available always leads to interesting ideas.
What are you most looking forward to on UBM5? The scenery, making new friends and of course the braaing.
Any braai pet peeves? When someone invites us for a braai and asks us to help, then hands us the most wacked out braai tools. Then, everyone gets too drunk to eat.
Do you have any braai traditions? We always braai a starter on arrival to line the guests stomachs. Always play good old-school, soft rock music in the background and of course pink wine!
Wood, gas or charcoal? Wood…for obvious reasons
Anything else you want us to know? We enjoy good food, good company and winning this competition will be the cherry on top for us!

Chanel and Nick, originally from Cape Town developed their braai skills from the working yacht life. Their ocean lifestyle takes them between Europe and the Caribbean, working for the world’s 1% population. Will their sea legs hold up in the South African landscape?

Who is the braai master? Chanel (Nick isn’t too happy about it, hee-haw)
Who is the braai buddy? Nick Perfect (yes,that’s really his surname)
What are your day jobs? Chanel: I am the chief stewardess on a private yacht which entails me running the interior of the yacht and the team, ensuring all activities for the passengers are booked – only the best of the best are chosen. I make itineraries for them for each day, in each country we visit. Birthdays and any other special occasion is turned into a grand ordeal – especially when it comes to food.

Nick: Dive instructor and deckhand onboard. He ensures that the shiny $50+million yacht is crystal clean and running like a charm. When we have guests, he is the underwater Christopher Columbus, exploring waves of the seas less travelled, with our esteemed guests.

Where are you from? Both originally from South Africa but have been living overseas for several years now
How did you choose your Team name? It incorporates the salty sea that we spend most of our years on working. And the flames? Well, we don’t miss an opportunity to play around with sizzling flames – it helps boost our creativity.
What are you most looking forward to on UBM5 Chanel: When they send the Braai Master on to a challenge and Nick gets left behind. ALL the cameras should be on Nicks face.

Nick: I just want to eat all the meat.

Any braai pet peeves? Under seasoning, and when someone over cooks a steak.

Nick: Mistreating the meat. Shame on you.

Do you have any braai traditions? Always drinks involved.
Wood, gas or charcoal? Wood is our number choice – it takes you back to Neanderthal days – Gas is just too easy – but charcoal is great if you’re a beginner… or in a rush.

KZN born and bred Randhir (Randy) and Surika (Sue) almost had to pull out of the game due to complications, but luckily it all worked out and now the heat is on! With a delectable signature dish and mad skills up their sleeve, will they bring the title home to KZN?

Who is the Braai Master? Randhir Parbhunath (Randy)
Who is the Braai Buddy? Surika Singh (Sue)
What is your team name? Smoke ‘n Hot
What are your day jobs? Sue Is a Beautician, Randy is a Sales Manager at a Print Company
Where are you from? Sue is from Stanger in Kzn whilst Randy is from Chatsworth in Kzn.
How did you decide your team name? Sue decided on the name after we went through a batch of “punny” titles
What is your signature braai dish? Marinated chicken, pineapple and brown mushroom skewers.
What are you most looking forward to on UBM5? The whole journey, and all it encompasses ie, the competition, the beautiful SA landscapes, the chance to compete against some of the best.
Any braai pet peeves? “Backseat” braaiers, people who start by saying “when I braai, I like to…” and freak rainstorms
Do you have braai traditions? Braaing at our friend’s place and experimenting with different techniques.
Wood, gas or charcoal? Wood!
Anything else you want us know? Sue is a great cook and baker but is also gluten intolerant. She gets everything to taste great without tasting it herself (Randy fills in as her taster)

Gugu and Sam from AirChefs are charcoal braai enthusiasts with loads of passion for delicious and spicy foods. These ladies are hoping to make their friends and family proud as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime – sensitive skin and all!

Who is the braai master? Gugu Ngobese
Who is the braai buddy? Samkelisiwe Cele
What are your day jobs? We’re both professional chefs at AirChefs
Where are you from? KZN, currently residing in Springs
How did you decide your team name? Gugu suggested the name and I just fell in love with it because it was exactly what we aim to do, in life and on UBM.
What is your signature braai dish? Flame grilled chicken wings with garlic, bread or pap, chakalaka, hot salsa and chicken gravy.
What are you most looking forward to on UBM? The outrageous challenges and the see the different locations we will be visiting.
Any braai pet peeves? When my meat falls inside the braai. When flames break out during my braai and burns the meat.
Do you have any braai traditions? At my granny’s place, we always braai our home grown corn on the cob as part of the braai, it’s so delicious and full of flavour.
Wood, gas or charcoal? Charcoal. It’s quick and gives a great taste to the meat if done properly.
Anything else you want us to know? I have very bad sinus issues and sensitive skin – at some point it might even cause me to have eczema while out camping.

Brother and sister team Tersia and Tarlan are stoked to jol with the UBM crew. Representing the sunny coast of Durban, they’re ready to prove that they have what it takes to become the next Ultimate Braai Master – but will it be enough?


Pretty and Precious Zondo – these sisters from Durban love hot, flavourful food with a kick. Tongs in hand and adventure in sight, the ladies are ready to get out of their charcoal loving comfort zone.

Who is the braai master? Pretty
Who is the braai buddy? Precious
What are your day jobs? Pretty; Professional chef

Precious; Guest service attendant

How did you decide your team name? We like hot and spicy food because if something is not well seasoned or has no flavour, we don’t want to eat it. The only good way that we know how to eat and prepare food is through spice, so it was inevitable that we’d be ‘The Spice Girls’.
What is your signature braai dish? Anything in beef but if we had to choose it would probably be barbeque beef short ribs or masala grilled t-bone.
What are you most looking forward to on UBM5? The adventure! Also, exploring our beautiful country and being able to get out of our comfort zone one braai at a time.
Any braai pet peeves? Burnt meat! And, when our neighbour has a braai and all the smoke swells into our house, especially when we have clothes on the line outside. We love braaing, but not so much that we want to smell like it all the time.
Do you have any braai traditions? Every time our parents visit from Mpumalanga, we must welcome them with a delicious braai. Of course, we’re not complaining.
Wood, gas or charcoal? Charcoal all the way!

Wouter and Bertus, father and son in-law team with a message – expect the unexpected from the Outlaws. With extensive experience in farming, cooking and camping between them, the Outlaws have declared that now that they’re in, they’re not going anywhere.

Who is the Braai Master? Wouter Pretorius (on the left)
Who is the Braai Buddy? Bertus de Vos (on the right)
What is your team name? Outlaws
What are your day jobs? Wouter is a qualified plumber, but is currently the owner/manager of a construction company specialising in concrete floors and roads.

Bertus is a graduate civil engineer but, after short stints in design and construction, spent most of his career in finance, initially with the IDC but later with FirstRand Bank. He is now semi-retired, serving as a non-executive on credit committees.

Where are you from? Wouter has been living in Pretoria North for the past five years and grew up on the West Rand.

Bertus has been living in Randburg since 1978. He was born and raised in Pretoria where he also completed his studies. He has, however, also spent a few years living in Nelspruit, East London and Cape Town.

How did you decide your team name? The initial team composition was two brothers-in-law, called the Bombay Boertjies, as one was from Mumbai and the other a boertjie. Bombay bombed out and in stepped father-in-law.

Although we are in-laws, we like to be known as Outlaws:

·       We want to feel wanted

·       Wanted grilled, seared or smoked?

·       We wanted to be in, now we are in and have      no intention of going out.

·       The Outlaws in the outdoors.

What is your signature braai dish? Wouter thinks his signature dish is his “sout ribbetjies”, but it needs a good couple of days to cure and prep.

Judged by popular demand, Bertus’ signature dishes are barbeque chicken pieces and coal baked potatoes, and, on the other extreme, lowly bully beef, jazzed up and served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a variety of side dishes.

What are you most looking forward to on UBM5? Wouter: Cooking in a competitive environment would be awesome and travelling to amazing destinations.

Bertus: Good food, the team dynamics (i.e. our own and other teams), the competition element and the learning experience.

Any braai pet peeves? Wouter: Nothing in particular, but “skoen sool” steaks give me shivers…

Bertus: People disappearing as soon as the announcement is made that the food is ready: i.e. to fetch something, to have a wee, to tidy or whatever.

Overdone or over seasoned food, you cannot fix it!

Do you have braai traditions? Wouter: When working I braai at least once a week and when camping or hunting I braai at least once a day, (this is more a standard than tradition), but baking an early morning bread, before everybody is awake, certainly makes everybody’s day on holiday.

Bertus: Camping holidays, watching major rugby games with a group of old friends and family gatherings are invariably accompanied by a braai.

Wood, gas or charcoal? First choice wood, for results and aroma, second choice charcoal, for speed and convenience, last choice gas, i.e. only if open fires are prohibited
Anything else you want us know? Wouter:  A part time farmer that grows his own fruit and veggies and farms with game. A fisherman with national colours in fresh water, rock and surf fishing, a hunter using both rifles and bows.

Married to Elisabeth for 5 years, father of two daughters.

Early to bed, early to rise.

Bertus: I grew up as one of nine children, to this day we get along very well and annually have a week long get together somewhere in South Africa. The families take turns preparing the evening meal for up to 45 people at a time.

I am very fond of travelling and a seasoned traveller in Southern Africa and abroad. Types of holidays vary, but holidays are mostly self-catering and include 4×4 camping safaris.

Married to Sunette for 40 years, father of four and grandfather of six.

Late to bed, late to rise.