So just who is Bertus Basson? A dreamer, successful entrepreneur, braaimaster, genius, fanatic or chef extraordinaire? He is, of course, all of those things. This extraordinary cookbook, beautifully photographed by the legendary Claire Gunn, follows the success of Bertus’s first cookbook Homegrown, now almost out of print. But this one is different. In it you will feel the drive and energy of this whirlwind of a man. The book offers inspiration to those of us who sit, mouths agape, wondering just how Bertus and his remarkable wife have so successfully built multiple restaurants. It presents an inside look into these restaurants from the story of the beginnings and growth of signature restaurant Overture, to Spice Route, wildly popular with the tourist crowds, and Spek & Bone, the small-plate wine bar in Stellenbosch, through to his love affair with burgers and just how De Vrije Burger was conceptualised and brought to life. Being Bertus Basson, or BBB as this book has fondly become known, is a combination of all that makes up Bertus. There’s a bit of entrepreneurial spice; a dollop of the practical advice that makes him such a successful restaurateur. For all those who’ve eaten or who’ve dreamed of eating at one of the restaurants so beautifully photographed in the book, here’s how to do it. The recipes will surprise you with their simplicity and quirkiness, show you just how to step beyond the usual and how to look at food, South African food in particular, in a whole new light. Once you’ve read Being Bertus Basson, there’s no going back to banal food experiences.
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