Chateau Libertas World Barbecue Championships

DATE: 5 November 2001


The Rainbow Smokers barbecue team from Switzerland has been judged the best barbecuers in the world, with two other Swiss teams – The BBQ World Team Switzerland and Grill Ueli taking 2nd and 3rd place at the Chateau Libertas World Barbecue Championships held at Century City from 2 to 4 November.

A South African team, Skaapland, with team captain Mrs Flick du Toit (a seasoned braaier), took the 5th place, making them the highest scoring local barbecue team. Besides the honour of being South Africa’s top team, Skaapland will be the official South African entry at the Fourth Barbecue Championships in San Diego, USA in July 2002.

Their prize was the prototype of the Rainbow Cooker designed and manufactured by SA Barbecue Association Chairman and event co-director, Michael Snyman. “The Rainbow Cooker was used by the winning Swiss team,” said a delighted Michael, “which proves that it’s a world-class product, and one which will soon be used by many local braai enthusiasts.”

Rolf Zubler, President of the World Barbecue Association (WBQA) declared the Chateau Libertas World Barbecue Championships held in Cape Town the best ever in the history of this international event. “The spirit of warmth of the South African teams, spectators and sponsors gave new meaning to the motto of WBQA: Make people happy with Fire, Food and Freedom. Let's barbecue and make friends around the world.”

Judging was done by 130 experts, which included top local foodies and professional chefs, as well as a contingent of international barbecue judges. There were two compulsory competitions: BARBECUE DISH OF THE WORLD (Saturday November 3) and WORLD BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Sunday November 4).

Winning Team Captain, Joseph Hegner from Büttikon, Switzerland and his Rainbow Smokers impressed judges and spectators with a menu that not only reflected the Swiss culture, but also incorporated tastes of their host country, South Africa: Smoked Salmon with Sauerkraut-Pineapple Gratin; Free Range Chicken Sosaties with Kohlrabi Gratin; Free Range Lamb Rack on Olive, Tomato and Balsamico with Mielies; Angus Beef Fillet on Whiskey Cream Sauce with Pommes Macaire. And, for dessert, Baked Mascarpone Apple “Ceres” on Calvados Sauce.

Hegner gave credit to his team, as well as the exceptional quality of the meat supplied to all competing teams by Woolworths, but added that to excel at barbecuing it is helpful to have a wife that hails from South Africa. “And now that we have the prestigious title “Barbecue Champions of the World” in the bag we can have a great time in Cape Town, before we fly back to Switzerland on 15 November.”

A dish by a South African team Weskus Wynland Span won the title “Best Barbecue Dish of the World”, with a perfectly braaied Boned Rack of Lamb Filled with Dried Peaches and Sultanas in Muscadel, served with Pumpkin and Beetroot Mash. The Weskus Wynland team under the guidance of team captain Wynand Smidt also received top position in the category “Best Booth”, for the transformation of their braai stand to a Paternoster beachside scene.

According to Lannice Snyman, judging director, winning the category BARBECUE DISH OF THE WORLD is an immense achievement for the South African braai nation. “Teams had to cook one meat dish (fish, chicken, pork, lamb, beef or ostrich) with a complementary side dish, garnish and/or sauce. The dish by the Weskus Wynland team best represented the culinary heritage of South Africa. In addition, judges took into account cooking skills, excellence of presentation, appropriate table decoration, team uniforms and team spirit.”

Professional American barbecue judge, Rocky Danner, said, “I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the spirit of South African barbecuers, and the warmth of the hospitality that pervaded the three-day event. This is most special memory that I will be taking home with me, and one with which I hope to infuse the competitions at which I adjudicate in future.”

The Shebeen Queens and the Bundu Bashing Barbecue Boffins from South Africa especially portrayed the spirit of barbecue that will be hard to beat at future events, capturing the hearts of the crowds, as well as the attention of the many international media crews covering the event.

The Shebeen Queens nabbed one of the competition’s most coveted titles, “Best Team Spirit”, as well as third place: Best Booth, and third place: Barbecue Dish of the World with their fish dish Where Two Oceans Meet: Cape Smoked Fish with Coriander Pesto Mayonnaise alongside Glazed Apricot Fish served with Papino and Avocado.

Tamsin Snyman, organiser of the event, was awarded the honorary WBQA title Barbecue Ambassador of Africa.

“Although South Africans are enthusiastic and skilled braaiers, cooking under the intense pressure of an international competition is fairly new to us,” says Tamsin. “And it is the first time that a host country did not win the World Barbecue Championships, as was the case at the previous World BBQ Championships held in the USA and Switzerland. However, we believe that the Chateau Libertas World BBQ Championships made an immense contribution to hone the barbecuing skills of the South African teams.”

According to Tamsin local teams agree that the event was not only the best fun they had ever had in their life, it opened their eyes to the skills of barbecuers from other parts of the world. “I have no doubt that South Africans will be barbecuing from now onwards, talking and planning around the fires to take the title at the next World BBQ Championships.”

The fourth World BBQ Championships will be held in Imperial Beach, California from 5 to 7 July 2002.


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