The food at a braai is delicious, but the whole experience is also very social. Waiting for the fire to produce the right amount of heat takes time, then there’s eating, drinking, and more drinking. This is the whole point of a braai: a long social gathering that can last for hours on end & Phil has really and truly mastered the art from the comfort of his own back garden.
I am guy from Northern Ireland who fell in love with a south African woman 15 years ago and through that I fell in love with the South African cooking concept of braai.
A braai is a beautiful thing because its one of those words that has more than one meaning.
To braai – is to cook food outdoors over fire (typically made with wood)
Have a braai – is to have people round to yours to enjoy each other’s company over some food
Eat braai – is the food itself
And it fits in so nicely with my Irish culture which is just to have some criac when you get together with friends and what better way to do it than round a fire.
What inspired me?
Originally it was seeing the enjoyment my father in law got from doing a braai. From that it became about trying to remind my wife of home when we got married and moved to Belfast. From there it kind of evolved into trying dishes that would normally be done indoors and trying to do them over the fire
I am always looking to try and make something that people think “I didn’t think you could do that outside” so things like pies and desserts and stepping way from the normal sort of bbq that British people expect once a year when theres a bit of sun.