Bob Skinstad unleashes his tongs

Celebrity braais

Bob with a family heirloom

Gourmet cuisine in full flight

When he’s not calling the rugby on SuperSport, hosting his Saturday morning radio show on KFM, or manning his innovative charity, Bobs For Good, former Springbok rugby captain can usually be found behind a cold beer at The Toad, the country pub he owns in Noordhoek just outside of Cape Town.

Laidback, friendly, and vested of good humour, The Toad is much like its owner – and much like its core cast of characters, the Noordhoek Vikings. Ostensibly a social sports team, the Vikings are a colourful collection of Noordhoek locals whose chief occupation is indulging in good times. An ideal group, then, for a braai…
Armed with Checkers Championship Boerewors, Steakhouse Classic rump, and enough lamb chops to staff a Sydney escort agency, Braai4Heritage Ambassador Dan Nicholl – backed by his own sports team, the lean, chiseled Mighty Dodos hockey side – arrived at The Toad, and with the help of plenty of Castle, got in a great night’s preparation for September 24.
Taking centre stage was what looked like a battered oil drum wrestled into a makeshift braai; turns out it was something of rather more consequence. “This was my grandfather’s braai, and I’m extremely proud of it,” Skinstad explained. “It’ll be in the family for generations to come.” Mrs. Skinstad looked less than enamoured with the idea, but once the rump came off the grill, done rare and sliced, she (and everyone else) quickly forgot about Bob’s antique, and launched into some outstanding meat.
There was an unofficial cooking challenge between the Dodos and the Vikings, which the Dodos won comfortably (as they had the five-a-side soccer challenge that preceded the braai); as usual, though, simply enjoying a fine South African tradition was the real pleasure. “Honestly, there’s nothing like a braai with your mates in Africa. It’s something I really missed about being in London,” Skinstad said between beers. “It was definitely one of my reasons for coming back home.”