Broken ankles didn’t extinguish Braai Masters’ dreams

Simply Cheeky Penny Rider and Bee Dhladhla.

Rand Aid’s sizzling Braai Master

Lombardy East resident Busisiwe Dhladhla delivered a sizzling performance in season six of the Ultimate Braai Master, despite breaking both her ankles early during the early stages of the competition.

The coals went out for Bee, as she is fondly known, and braai partner Penny Rider from Houghton the day before the finals but Team Simply Cheeky will be remembered for some amazing dishes.

One of Bee’s favourites was vetkoek sliders with roast beef, gravy, onion rings and horseradish cream, which was a fusion of Penny’s English and Bee’s South African heritages, with the popular South African deep-fried treat taking the place of Yorkshire puddings, which is a staple at Sunday lunch in Britain.

Bee is no stranger to the Ultimate Braai Master, which has over the past years become one of the country’s favourite reality cooking shows. She took part in season three, as part of the Simply Sisters team, but was eliminated early in the competition.

Born in Soshanguve, Pretoria, Bee moved to Lombardy East when she became part of the team at Rand Aid’s catering division Cookchill four years ago. Cookchill prepares over 33 000 meals a month and over 1 500 on each working day for Rand Aid’s various retirement villages and care centres. Over 70 tons of vegetables were used last year and just under one ton of sugar is used per month.

Bee loves the beef stroganoff they prepare, the curries and the salads, which she describes as interesting.

Her love of cooking started simmering when she was a child, watching her mom, Evelyn, at work in the kitchen. “She is a very good cook,” says Bee.

Knowing she was destined for a professional kitchen Bee chose home economics as a subject in high school. After matriculating, she did a two-year food and beverage course through Birnam Business College and in 2003 she joined the world of work, first at a deli cum coffee shop at then as head chef at a catering company.

 BROKEN ANKLES AND ALL

“Season six filming took place over 60-days towards the end of 2018 and Penny and I remained in the competition until the semi-finals. Filming took place at 10 locations, including Haga in the Eastern Cape, Soetwater near Cape Town, the Transkei and Franschhoek.

The series was screened on e.tv, with the final episode airing on April 28, 2019.

“There was lots of camping but teams were rewarded with hotel stays,” remembers Bee.

“It was an epic experience. I did not realise that I could tolerate that much or that I had so much inner strength.”

Bee’s grit was tested to the limits when during the filming of episode two, she broke both ankles while ziplining in the Ceres mountains. “I hit the brakes too late and both ankles smashed into a rock.

“The producers asked if I wanted to go home but I declined. It would have been okay if badly cooked food was the reason I went home, but not broken ankles!”

She carried on competing, with moon boots, a wheelchair and crutches keeping her mobile, and today has the sweet satisfaction of savouring many memorable Braai Master moments.

Simply Cheeky’s take on traditional English roast beef with Yorkshire pudding – vetkoek sliders with roast beef, onion rings, horseradish cream and gravy.

Bee and Simply Cheeky team-mate Penny Rider. Spot the moon boots.

Braai Master contestant Bee Dhladhla at work in Rand Aid’s Cookchill kitchen.


 

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