Chefs are exceptionally busy people, their schedules and efficacy putting the rest of us excel-pushing schlubs to shame. As chefs go, Bertus Basson is busier than most. For starters, the man has a consultancy business with his chef business partner Craig McCormack – events, workshops, consultations you name it. For mains, he has one of the top 10 restaurants in the country in Stellenbosch’s Overture – fourth in 2012’s Eat Out Awards (the only Saffer in the top five), seventh last year. For a sweetener, he’s one of the judges on Ultimate Braai Master, traversing the country in search of avuncular ooms with elevated braai skills.
And the cherry on top? Die Wors Rol – a popular food truck with a decal of a skimpily-clad lady that wouldn’t be out of place on a B-52 bomber – hitting the festival and events scene. Whenever he can, Basson slips away to man Betsy and serve up her famous gourmet hotdogs.
Having trained in a Michelin-star restaurant and competed in Bocus d’Or competitions representing South Africa (essentially the cheffing Olympics), Basson doesn’t know how to do things in half-measures. He swears like a trooper, speaks like he’s on speed, and cooks like a god. All qualities we like.
#BestAdvice: Be true to yourself and adaptable elsewhere
“The best advice I received in recent times was from my good mate Justin Bonello. He told me over a whiskey one night, the biggest lie you can tell is the one that you believe yourself. Live in the truth, or live for the rest of your life protecting a lie. It sounds hectic, but has a very simple application in my life. He told me this just as my journey in The Ultimate Braai Master stared, knowing that I would be opening myself for a bit more public scrutiny (as if Trip Advisor wasn’t enough already)
What it meant for me was simple – stay the same. You will still find me eating in my local Spur at least once a month, because that is who I am. No reason to pretend otherwise! It doesn’t matter what you do or in what direction your career takes you always stay true to yourself.”
*By Tudor Caradoc-Davies