Who Does What at a Braai?

Mention a braai to a South African and you’ll instantly conjure up memories of chops and wors grilling over a fire, the warm sun on their back and the company of friends and family. On a few lucky occasions, you’ll get to the venue, and things will already be in full swing. The meat’s been braaied to perfection and seasoned with Aromat seasoning; the cutlery’s been set out on the table, and the empty stomachs couldn’t growl any louder.

But most times, you’ll arrive long before it’s time to eat. The fire’s still nothing more than a few sparks, the all-purpose seasoning salt hasn’t been opened, and there’s nothing on the table besides snacks. But this is precisely when you can do all the other stuff that makes a braai worth your weekend or public holiday: catching up with old friends or family, helping to get the fire going or helping prepare the side dishes. 

So which role do you play at a braai? 

Braai Master

The braai master’s primary responsibility is preparing the meat, so how soon everyone eats depends on how quickly they can grill. They’re usually dressed in an apron with a quirky message like “kiss the chef” or “may the forks be with you”. This is a high-stakes role; if you mess up the meat or take too long, everyone’s going to side-eye you for the rest of the day. But that pressure is a small price to pay for the chance to be the first person to taste the main attraction. 

Operations Manager          

Have you ever noticed how your glass is always full, the snack bowl never runs out of snacks, and dirty plates and cutlery are always taken away before they pile up? You have the operations manager to thank for that. They’re never really at the same spot for too long: one minute they’re bringing the next batch of meat to braai, the next they’re helping chop vegetables for the side dishes. 

Head of Entertainment

Laughter, music and good vibes are the head of entertainment’s responsibilities. If you’re better than most at using the aux cable to play music for your friends or family, you’re probably more than qualified for this role. Before the meat’s ready, you can keep the guests entertained with a group activity like 30 Seconds. When it’s time to eat and everyone wants something lighthearted to laugh at, binge on episodes of Aromat Comedy Club.

Braais are pretty much a national pastime in South Africa. Whenever there’s a public holiday on the horizon, you can bet on the smell of a braai coming from at least one of your neighbours. Or even better, one might be hosted where you live. If that’s the case, you should be prepared to put your expertise to use if needed. But above all, be sure to take the right health precautions in terms of physical distancing and hand hygiene so everyone can have a good time responsibly.

The Gardener