Although Kokkedoor Fire & Flame ‘s Joubert Spies had to hang up his apron and barbecue tongs after the semi-finals of the competition, this barbecue lover says that today he barbecues more than ever before.
Joubert, who in a professional capacity is an accountant from Pretoria, believes that Kokkedoor Fire & Flame helped him to look at life in a different way.
“I am a businessman, for me many things are either white or black. I learned not to be so hard on myself,” says Joubert (38) in RNews’s studio.
“To this day, I dream about that hard potato and burnt vegetable ball (that sent him and his teammate Cindy Menigo home). Sometimes you tend not to look at your success, and only notice your weaknesses. I think it’s important to give yourself credit for what you’ve achieved.”
Joubert almost didn’t enter the competition; it was his sister-in-law and her daughter, Lara van der Merwe, who finally convinced him. At that stage, Joubert and Lara actually entered as a team, although this plan did not see the light of day.
Because Lara studied food sciences, they initially thought that she would be able to sign up as a twister. However, the rules of the competition required that twisters had to have a chef qualification, which ultimately meant that Lara did not qualify as a twister. Although these family members’ plan to enter as a team subsequently fell through, none of them today regrets that they finally competed against each other as two memory grillers.
“It was a very natural thing to braai with Lara,” says Joubert.
“I watched her grow up, it was like having my own child there. She has a very big future ahead of her.”
Today, when Joubert looks back on every braai challenge he had to tackle during the course of the competition, one definitely stands out for him: the vegetable braai challenge.
Although he has been made fun of for not being a vegetable lover, he says that this challenge has opened up a whole world for him. It is precisely the vegetable grilling techniques that he learned in the competition, which still remain with him today.
Then 20 braaiers 13 weeks ago at the Kokkedoor Fire & Flame-walked into the store, they were strangers. Today, Joubert considers his fellow barbecuers to be good friends, and he has even barbecued with some of them once or twice.
“Everyone saw how we competed against each other. However, what people didn’t see is that we stayed in houses together and barbecued every night, even if we also barbecued during the day,” he recalls.
“Because it’s a barbecue program, everyone’s culture is very similar. Everyone wants to have a barbecue and get together. I met a lot of nice people with whom I became good friends.”
For Gert and Karen, who were named the overall winners of the competition earlier this week, he wishes only success. He has formed a close friendship with each of them, and knows that they will each achieve great things in their lives and careers.
“I am very privileged to know them, I am super proud of them and happy that I was able to work with them.”
Although he did not achieve his dream of winning the competition, today he still has a great love for this competition and barbecue in his heart.
“You’re not always going to win, but just give your best. If you don’t make it that day, just pick your head up and keep going.”
- Listen above to a full audio interview with Joubert Spies van Kokkedoor Fire & Flame.