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Ultimate Braai Master

Ronel Theron grabs the opportunity and assumes leadership of a strong team.

Ronel Theron strategically stepped out of the shadows in Episode Five of Ultimate Braai Master to lead her team away from an elimination round.

The Braai Master’s headed to the historic museum town of Maitjiesfontein to compete in the “Snout to Tail” challenge which involved using as many different cuts of a lamb as possible as they prepared a large menu that was to be served to guests in the railway train dinning car.

The menu had to comprise of three canapes a soup / broth, three main courses and a hot baked dessert to finish everything off. episode-5-ultimate-braai-master-ronel-theron-leadership-bidRonel Theron saw a very strong team around her and decided this was the time to take on a leadership role.

Ronel quickly stepped forward to take leadership of the team she found herself in.

It was a good move as it was a strong team that included Warwick Thomas, Laertes Melidonis, Greg Gilowey and Annerie Burger.

It had been a random selection that brought them all together, receiving numbered tickets as they boarded the Maitjiesfontein tour bus earlier in the day with the teams split into odds and evens.

This competition requires a strategy and it is important to know when to step forward and when to stay back especially when it comes to avoiding elimination challenges, something that the losing team leader will inevitably have to face.

Having some of the strongest Braai Masters and Braai Buddies in the group presented Ronel with her best opportunity yet to assume a leadership position and she went for it.

She said, “Look we are going to be working as a team, we’re going to be pooling everybody’s strengths and I think the team leader has to oversee and make sure that everything goes right.”

“If you guys are comfortable with me being team leader I’d be prepared to take team leader.”

episode-5-ultimate-braai-master-tubby-warwick-carcassTubby goes all Hannibal Lecter

episode-5-ultimate-braai-master-warwick-thomas-butcherWarwick Thomas strips out the ribs for the kebabs


Ronel put Tubby and Warwick in charge of cutting the carcass, something that Warwick has done before and both of them set about the task with aplomb.

Tubby became a little overly engaged with the task though and began to imagine himself as Hannibal Lecter.

Ronel said, “I’m feeling confident, I feel we’ve got a very strong team today and I think everybody wants to win, everybody wants to do well.”

“So there’s going to be no politics, no people trying to sabotage one another.”

Her final comment could well have been referring to competitors like Roger Harris and Frank Dunn who have found themselves in confrontational situations in the past on Ultimate Braai Master

episode-5-ultimate-baai-master-ronel-theron-lamb-rollTeam Ronel’s Lamb Roll with Anchovy Butter went down very well with the judges.

For this challenge the judges were to get more involved in guiding the teams through this tough 60 plate service and Marthinus Ferreira assumed that role for Team Ronel while Bertus Basson looked after Team Sebastian.

This added a lot more spice to the challenge as their competitive streaks were revealed, especially Marthinus.

Both Chefs worked in some of the toughest kitchens in the world as they mastered their trade and we have had occasion to see glimpses of that background in them, particularly Marthinus who has worked for Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay.

When it came to the moment of truth it was a very close call between the two teams and a tough decision for the judges who despite supporting individual teams earlier in the day now one of them had to turn.

It was Team Ronel that took it leaving Sebastian to choose two Braai Masters to face the elimination challenge, it was no coincidence that he chose Roger and Frank.

One of them would be going home.

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Some say he holds the world record for potatoes peeled in a minute. It is believed he set this record as a 6 year old while living at the ANC camp in Tanzania during the 1970's