I hadn’t seen Anél Potgieter for a while, and met with her on Monday at SeaBreeze Fish & Shell, my new favorite restaurant in Bree Street, on an atypical winter’s day, at 28C.  She shared details of her fun new TV program ‘Bak of Brou’. 

We started lunch with Saldanha oysters, switching to Knysna ones when the West Coast ones had run out. As I have posted endless photographs of the oysters at SeaBreeze, I asked owner Alex Grahame if the chef could plate them differently, and he delivered perfectly, having had the chef plate them on their brand new ceramicware made by Anthony Shapiro. We shared the Tuna Niçoise salad, with potato, deconstructed with thick slices of seared tuna, quail egg, tomato, and beans. 

Anél has been a communications consultant for more than 25 years, with local as well as international clients. She was part of the team that launched the Lottery and McDonalds in South Africa. Later she focused much of her skills in the area of healthcare and pharmaceutical communications, particularly within the managing communication programmes and interventions in African countries.

Her Blog ‘Life is a Zoo Biscuit‘ won Eat Out Food Blogger of the Year twice in two years running, and she is a weekly presenter on the SABC3 Breakfast TV show Expresso. Anél writes about food for Rapport. 

Anél told me about ‘Bak en Brou’, the TV programme which is broadcast on Mondays at 18h30, for half an hour. There are another ten episodes left, three having been broadcast already. Amor Engelbrecht of the Media Club is the producer of ‘Bak of Brou’, with Anél being both the presenter as well as the Pre-Production Manager. Anél and Amor worked on the program concept, which resulted in each show having two contestants pitted against each other each week, professional baker versus professional baker, or home baker versus home baker. For each episode a celebrity was invited to participate, and to specify his or her favorite cake, as well as a theme for the party for which the cakes have to be prepared. The flavours and the colours of the cake had to be specified too. Anél’s job was to match the contestants with a celebrity, the contestants not living more than ten minutes apart. She had to organize all aspects related to the programs, including finding a celebrity per program. 

The celebrity for the first episode was singer Kurt Darren, and he decided that he wanted a party to celebrate his second year of living in Cape Town. He requested a sea theme Party (the decor for which was set up an interior decorator), wanted a red wine and chocolate cake, and the cake to be turquoise in colour. The contestants bake away, having three hours in total from start to setting up the cake at the Party venue.

Anél rushes between the homes of the two contestants, asking them challenging questions about their cakes, and showing each contestant the Instamatic photographs of the work of the other contestant, as they are not in the same venue. At the end of the day, the celebrity chooses the winning cake, the winning baker per episode receiving electrical goods to the value of R10000. The contestants do not know who the celebrity is, and receive the brief three days ahead. They have a budget for the ingredients. Anél told me that elaborate cakes have been baked, up to five tiers high. Clues are given to the contestants after 30 minutes and then again after 90 minutes, to guide them as to who the celebrity is. Kurt Darren’s Party was held in a venue in Paarl, decorated as a Beach House, to which he had invited twenty buddies for cake, bubbly, and Tea. He announced the winning baker, as the one best meeting his brief.

Other celebrities in the forthcoming episodes include Piet and Frik of ‘Laat die Potte prut’; actress Crystal-Donna Roberts; style consultant Anet Pienaar-Vosloo; TV and radio personality Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp; Chef Jenny Morris; and actor and adventurer Ivan Zimmermann. 

Bak of Brou‘, VIA TV, DStv 147. Mondays at 18h30. 

Anél Potgieter, Cell 083 656 9931. www.lifeisazoobiscuit.com Twitter: @anelp  Instagram: @lifeisazoobiscuit

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @chris_ulmenstein