Fa­ther’s Day can be a tricky hol­i­day, es­pe­cially if you’re de­ter­mined to not fall into the socks, ties and hand­ker­chief trap when buying gifts. Nathan Adams has a so­lu­tion – fire up the braai

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

POS­SI­BLY the best gift you could give your dad this Fa­ther’s Day is to spend some time cook­ing or braai­ing with him. In many house­holds, it’s usu­ally the dad who fires up the braai or the grill and then makes sure that what­ever is be­ing thrown on the coals is pre­pared to per­fec­tion. This rit­ual then ex­tends to dads teach­ing their sons and daugh­ters how to start a fire and then braai meat, sausage and chicken to per­fec­tion.

It is with all these child­hood mem­o­ries in mind of my own dad and sib­lings gath­ered round the fire that I found in­spi­ra­tion in Home­grown, by Ber­tus Bas­son. It’s easy to find braai in­spi­ra­tion from The Ul­ti­mate Braai Master chef. Not only has he com­piled a list of recipes from his own child­hood, but also some that are rooted in his own fam­ily and are uniquely South African.

It’s his link to food and his dad, Theo Bas­son, that makes the cook­book Home­grown a great Fa­ther’s Day gift as well.

Bas­son writes about his fam­ily hol­i­days and the fish his dad would buy along the way and then braai when they got home. “Braaied snoek was some­thing I loved. There would be ban­ter around the fire while he (Ber­tus’s dad) cooked, mem­o­ries of the coast or reg­u­lar fam­ily stuff about who was do­ing what; with the smell of the fire and all the opin­ions about the best way to keep it go­ing, run­ning back to the kitchen for this or that,” he says.

In his book, he also has high praise for his dad and the les­sons he learnt from him that he was able to use in the kitchen.

“From my fa­ther, Theo Bas­son, I learned where meat comes from and why it should be treated with such re­spect. He would take us on hunt­ing trips, or go off on his own to bring back some­thing for the pot. From him I learned how to stretch the bud­get with in­gre­di­ents for the restau­rant from the veld to the ocean.”

When I ques­tioned Bas­son about his cook­ing legacy, I dis­cov­ered that the roots run deep in his fam­ily: “My grand­fa­ther on my mother’s side was a very good cook. He pot­ted, pick­led and pre­served. I loved spend­ing hol­i­days with him while grow­ing up. My brother is a good hunter and re­cently sup­plied me with wild os­trich,” he says.

This Fa­ther’s Day will be a spe­cial time in the Bas­son house­hold as Chef Ber­tus passes on his foodie knowl­edge to the next gen­er­a­tion.

Bas­son says: “This is my first Fa­ther’s Day as a fa­ther and I plan to cre­ate mem­o­ries with my son.”

If you’re not plan­ning a big lunch but the fam­ily is get­ting to­gether, then con­sider fir­ing up the braai to cel­e­brate the men in your fam­ily.

Home­grown, by Ber­tus Bas­son, is avail­able on for R299. Scan the QR Code to pur­chase the book.

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