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Jan Braai’s Red Hot Launched with Delicious Fare from the Book at Montecasino

Bryan Habana and Jan Braai

Dan Nicoll and Jan Braai Red HotIt was a jovial atmosphere at Cobblestones in Montecasino where the Jan Braai launch of Red Hot took place. Walking in, the first person one sees is rugby player Bryan Habana, who flew down from France to attend the launch, chatting away to Jan. Guests were greeted with two cocktails to choose from, both made from Klipdrift premium brandy, and there were plenty of ice buckets full of Castle beer to dip into.

Then everyone headed upstairs for the proceedings to begin. Russell Clarke from Bookstorm (publishers of the braai cookbook) started off by saying that Jan is just the kind of guy you want at a braai. Then he introduced eNCA broadcaster Dan Nicoll who compared Jan to the author of 50 Shades of Grey, as his previous book sold well: “Fireworks was the third best selling book of South Africa last year, so effectively you are here with the EL James of South Africa.”

Dan, who has been involved in Jan’s passion project Braai Day for the past five years, asked Jan how it came about and why it’s so important. Jan says, “We live in the coolest country in the world, sometimes people forget that…I realise that I was one of those people who didn’t appreciate living in South Africa and decided to quit my job and do something about it. In South Africa we don’t have a day to have a huge party (like other counties). We’ve got all these public holidays that celebrate religion and politics…but we can’t truly unite the people around these two subjects. We have 11 official languages but we have one word that is recognisable – everyone knows the word ‘braai’. Even the middle classes, who unfortunately use gas. So I thought let’s have one day where the nation gets together and party and braai.”

Dan then took the conversation back to the cookbooks, asking what the difference is between Jan’s first cookbook, Fireworks, and the one published now, Red Hot. “Fireworks was setting the base for how we braai…” Jan says. “Red Hot is the second half of this encyclopedia of braaiing or brible as we like to call it. Fireworks was a book for normal people like me. And this year I widened it a bit. In Red Hot there’s ostrich and venison recipes. It’s really also the place where I am in in braaiing at the moment.”

“For Red Hot you might have to go further than your local shop and go to a spice shop or a fish shop. For research for Braai Day we have to travel a lot and you eat steak and stout pie in every pub you walk in. So I wanted to see if I could create that on the braai. So there’s a steak and stout pie potjie recipe.” There are also loads of other delicious recipes in the book, like chicken sosaties with satay sauce and a braai bunny chow.

The best part of the evening came after the speeches, when guests got to taste some of the dishes from Red Hot while sipping on a Castle.

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