The Season 1 winners were Who Dares, Wins.
Produced by Cooked in Africa Films and hosted by gourmet bush cook and veteran presenter Justin Bonello, the 13-part series features 15 teams of two contestants each (consisting of a Braai Master and a Braai Buddy) in a gruelling 8,000km culinary adventure as they compete for the prize of R500,000 cash; a new Renault Koleos 4x4 valued at R325,000, a Cadac BraaiMaxx valued at R15,000 and the title of South Africa's first Ultimate Braai Master.
With five seasons of Cooked and four best-selling cook books under his belt, Justin is proud to be presenting and producing a local reality TV series that showcases the beauty, diversity, unique flavours and local delicacies that characterise some of South Africa's best off-the-beaten track locations.
Earning the "Ultimate Braai Master" title is going to be no picnic. Teams had to sign up for a 52-day road trip, during which time they were expected to occasionally catch their own food, source their ingredients under the toughest conditions and cook to a standard of culinary excellence that shatters the stereotype on the kinds of meals that can be produced on an open fire.
The producers launched the competition's call-for-entries campaign at the beginning of April 2012 via print, radio and TV, driving entries to the competition's online platform.
From a total of 6,400 aspirant braai master entries, Justin and his production team short-listed 300 teams (of two contestants each) from around the country to take part in three regional auditions in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg during May and the first weekend of June.
Auditions kicked off in Cape Town at Grand West Casino & Entertainment World on Saturday, 19 May, where 79 of the Western Cape's hottest braai talents competed head to head, resulting in 15 finalists; the competition's second audition took place at the Wild Coast Sun Resort and Casino on Saturday, 26 May in Kwa-Zulu Natal with 13 finalists making it through from the 35 competing teams; and the final audition at Sun City Resort saw 15 out of 54 of Gauteng's best braai teams make it through the regional audition on Saturday 2 June.
Some of the most memorable recipes from the series will be packaged into a new braai cookbook from Justin, which will be published by Penguin and available in stores before Christmas 2012.
Selected from a pool of 43 short-listed national finalists, the country's top 15 teams (of two contestants each) to make it into the Ultimate Braai Master competition were:
Team Cooking Soul
Braai Master: Nqobani Mlagisi
Braai Buddy: Mbuso Mlagisi
Team Mantra: Fortune favours the brave!
Nqobani and Mbuso are brothers from Mafikeng and they entered The Ultimate Braai Master for the adventure, the thrill of the challenge and the opportunity to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure together.
Nqobani says the one home comfort he'll miss is his comfy bed and bubble baths. Ag shame!
Cooking Soul say they were pretty confident they would make it to the finals because of their food skills. If they win the cash they'll fix up their parent's house and invest the balance as a stepping-stone to even greater things in their lives.
Braai Master: Annerie Burger
Braai Buddy: Martyn Schickerling
Team Mantra: Don't blink – you might miss something!
Annerie and Martyn met each other at a bar six years ago, have been engaged for seven months and are getting married in November.
They are huge fans of reality TV shows, and with their shared love of food, adventure and Justin Bonello, entering The Ultimate Braai Master was a no-brainer. Umlilo say they will miss their animals the most while they're away. Too sweet!
If Umlilo wins they want to put some of the money toward their future together and then invest the balance in a housing idea they have. Annerie says it's important to not stress too much and to enter all the challenges with a clear mind.
Braai Master: Sebastian Matroos
Braai Buddy: Dumisani Malaza
Team Mantra: The Universe will provide!
Sebastian and Dumisani have been friends for four years, and they both agree that their mothers are their everyday heroes.
They're happy to have made it through to the final 15, because they literally spent the last of their cash to take part in the audition rounds at Sun City. They're most scared of encountering wild animals during the competition – that and being untrue to themselves.
They think the weakest team will lack vision, hope, humour, enthusiasm and the spirit of adventure, but admit that at this point any one of the other 14 teams can win the title.
The one thing they'll miss the most during the trip is solitude and warmth, but if they win 2M say they'll be able to get their lives back on track, so the sacrifice might just be worth it!
Team The Stoned Olives
Location: Betty's Bay
Braai Master: Ronel Theron
Braai Buddy: Billy Stanley
Team Mantra: Focus, be present... live in the now!
With The Hulk being their icon, The Stoned Olives' competitive edge shouldn't be taken lightly. When they entered The Ultimate Braai Master it was obvious they were going in for the kill and because of their special powers of positive thinking, they knew they would make it to the final 15.
They say the only one thing that scares them about going on the road trip is leaving their 8-year-old son behind for such a long time, but if they do win, it will have been worth it as the money will help them put a secure roof over his head.
Team Green Okes
Braai Master: Tsepho Nkosi
Braai Buddy: Modise Khoabane
Team Mantra: Be the change you want to see!
Tsepho and Modise have been friends for seven years and never for a moment did they doubt that they would make it to the final 15.
They say their audition was solid, and winning the award for Best Original Team only confirmed that they would make it through. That being said, the team admits that there are a lot of strong contenders in the competition and they won't underestimate anyone.
If they win the title, the car and the cash, they're starting an organic farm – proving yet again that they're not called the Green Okes for nothing!
Team Fat Cow
Location: Durban North
Braai Master: Warwick Thomas
Braai Buddy: Dayle Dohne
Team Mantra: Udderly Delicious!
Team Fat Cow have been friends for just over three years and own a cooking school. They entered The Ultimate Braai Master to showcase their culinary skills.
They've had a bout of bad luck and never thought they would make it through to the final 15, but now that they're in, they say the thing they're the most scared of is sharing their beds with snakes.
Insomniac Warwick says he'll miss his TV the most. We think he'll be too tired to even care!
If they win, they're planning a trip to Italy.
Team Which Way Braai Chicks
Location: Cape Town and Vioolsdrift
Braai Master: JanieB Smit
Braai Buddy: Maudie Bleach
Team Mantra: It's all about the relax speech...
JanieB and Maudie have known each other since 1996 when they used to do overland tour guiding together. They entered The Ultimate Braai Master to relive some of their road tripping memories... and of course to braai.
JanieB is most scared of getting voted out of the competition first, while Maudie is more concerned with heights.
Although JanieB is sad not to be able to share the road trip with her other friends, she'll go visit some of them if she wins. Maudie wants to build a new kitchen (yes, with a braai) and take her kids on a road trip.
Team Popeye and Olive
Location: Port Elizabeth
Braai Master: Roxanne van Breda
Braai Buddy: Barry Davis
Relationship: Father and Daughter
Team Mantra: Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes!
This father and daughter duo say making it to the final 15 is absolutely amazing - especially after seeing all the incredible talent at the audition rounds.
Roxanne's worst fear is making a weird dish like offal and then having to eat it – she's not really a tripe kind of girl. She says she'll really miss her husband and her daughters, but that it'll be worth it because "Mommy's bringing home the bacon!"
If they win, Popeye and Olive will split the money and share the car. Barry will donate a portion of his share to charity.
Team Hout Cuisine
Location: Cape Town
Braai Master: Oscar Foulkes
Braai Buddy: Christopher Foulkes
Team Mantra: If you're feeling in control, you're just not going fast enough!
Oscar and Christopher entered The Ultimate Braai Master for the opportunity to go on an amazing road trip around South Africa, to bond and to just have some fun.
Oscar believes that there's no place for fear in the competition and that panic will get in the way of creativity. Christopher on the other hand says he's scared of orphaning his son.
The thing Oscar will miss the most is making himself a cup of delicious coffee in the mornings and Christopher says he will have to plan his cigar supplies very carefully.
If they win, Christopher will put his share of the money in an educational trust he started last year for underprivileged, but deserving kids; and Oscar will get rid of some debt, buy his kids new shoes and school uniforms and invest the rest.
Team Who Dares, Wins
Location: Cape Town
Braai Master: Laertes Melidonis
Braai Buddy: Elaine Ensor-Smith
Team Mantra: Cook it, eat it, win it!
Laertes and Elaine have known each other for 20 years and are virtually family. Laertes says he entered The Ultimate Braai Master because he loves challenges, can hold his own against the best around a fire and was inspired by his daughters to take the leap.
Elaine is most scared of encountering spiders on the trip, while Laertes's fear is doing something silly on camera. They both believe that the title of the first "Ultimate Braai Master" will reside in Cape Town after the impressive audition rounds.
Elaine has a long list of things she would love to do if they win the title, including buying a new bicycle and getting a yorkie. Laertes wants to build a cottage in the Karoo to share with his family and friends.
Team Coal Shoulder
Braai Master: Roger Harris
Braai Buddy: Lee Jennery
Team Mantra: When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye!
Roger and Lee have known each other for eight years and are both tattoo artists in Johannesburg. They entered The Ultimate Braai Master because of Roger's love of cooking and the opportunity for a life-changing journey.
The thing they're most scared of on the trip is freezing to death – luckily they can keep each other warm at night! (And wear thermal underwear).
If they win the title and the cash, they'll invest some of it into their business and create a nest egg with the balance.
Team Rust n Dust
Location: Cape Town
Braai Master: Greg Gilowey
Braai Buddy: Karl Tessendorf
Relationship: Brother-in-laws, fishing partners, Afrika Burners
Team Mantra: You can't fight the flow!
Greg and Karl tried to get into The Ultimate Braai Master three times. They got burnt twice, but the Universe was finally on their side when they made the cut at Sun City. Greg says they entered because they love to braai. It's that simple.
If they win, they'll split the cash. Greg wants to take his family on holiday in the Transkei and Karl wants to give his fiancé the wedding she deserves.
The list of things that scare them about the trip includes cold fires, warm beer, salad, dirty underwear and old socks.
Team The Green Feet Team
Location: Stellenbosch and Klerksdorp
Braai Master: Tinus Els
Braai Buddy: Lekitlane Mokiti
Team Mantra: Keep things simple, colourful and tasty!
Tinus and Leki have been friends for two years and entered The Ultimate Braai Master to become 2012's Ultimate Braai Masters... and for the adventure.
They never for a moment thought they wouldn't make it through to the final 15, because (according to them) they have flair, are organised and have great timing.
Tinus is most scared of being eliminated from the competition first and Leki really doesn't want to eat worms.
If they win, they'll take a percentage of the money for their own personal use and the balance will be invested in a business that they say will be a result of winning the competition.
Team Chi Town Braaisters
Braai Master: Frank Dunn
Braai Buddy: Claire Walker
Team Mantra: Small Town, Big Taste!
Rugby coach, Frank Dunn from Chi Town Braaisters entered The Ultimate Braai Master to see how he would fare in the world of SA Braaiers and Claire joined him on his adventure for the experience (and the moola!).
Once they saw the judges' reactions on audition day, they knew they had made it through. The thing that most scare them about the road trip ahead is not knowing what challenges to expect (luckily they have each other!).
If they win, they'll use the money to start their own business.
Team Gal Power
Braai Master: Sindi Manthata
Braai Buddy: Lethu Ncengwa
Team Mantra: We'll blow your taste buds away!
Team Gal Power are two sisters who fell in love with the idea of travelling for 52 days, braaiing all the time and learning new things. They never expected to make it through to the final 15, but say it must have come down to their creativity (and some luck from the man above.)
Sindi says the one thing she's scared of on The Ultimate Braai Master trip is being eaten by a snake, while Lethu hopes she doesn't have to catch and kill her own food.
If they win Sindi will realise her dream and use the money to open a restaurant while single-Mom Lethu will use her share to build her kids a home.