Not too long ago Cooked in Africa Films was known as the little production company with the big heart situated in the southern most part of South Africa. Today they’re still all big heart and soul but after years of relentless hard work, long hours and sleepless nights, this leading company has made a big name for itself, not only locally, but globally too.
After four seasons of producing the “Ultimate Braai Master” (South Africa’s toughest outdoor braai-based cooking competition), Cooked in Africa Films has been able to boast impressive new viewership benchmarks. The Series is currently premiering on etv and the fourth season, titled “Ultimate Braai Master – Game On” is attracting an average weekly TV audience of 1.7 million viewers (4.4 AR) in its off-shoulder 4PM premier slot on Sundays, followed by a repeat on Saturdays at 1PM, which delivers and audience of a further 500 000 viewers.
Cooked in Africa Films Executive Producer and Managing Partner, Peter Gird is thrilled with the results. “Historically Ultimate Braai Master has performed well above the premier broadcast average of other leading local cooking formats, averaging approximately 600,000 prime-time viewers in its consecutive first two Seasons on SABC3, and last year on etv where the third Season enjoyed a small increase in average viewership. This year our strategy to move the Series to a weekend off-shoulder slot has paid off for the Series and the Channel, with the latter enjoying higher than average Audience Ratings (ARs) for a local lifestyle TV Series in this timeslot,” he says.
But the Series is not only enjoying local popularity. Gird is upbeat about the “Ultimate Braai Master’s” success amongst international audiences too. TVF, a leading UK-based distribution agency recently sold the first two seasons broadcast rights of the popular braai series in Latin America, which is expected to start airing in 2016. Even bigger than that is the news that the format rights for “Ultimate Braai Master” is being managed by global format rights giant, all3Media, which has secured options for the replication of the franchise in America, Canada, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Poland and Brazil.
“This makes the “Ultimate Braai Master” South Africa’s first home-grown Television Series to be produced internationally and is potentially history in the making,” says Gird
Cooked in Africa Films Creative Director and Partner, Justin Bonello believes that the Series has highlighted a growing global Television trend that is seeing a revival of featured open-air and traditional cooking methods. Justin is no stranger to whipping up delicious food in the great outdoors with six successful seasons of his original concept of combining road trips and rustic meals entitled “Cooked”. The Series has enjoyed a wide global following after having been distributed to international audiences via several major networks in over 280 territories.
After taking time out to grow the “Ultimate Braai Master” franchise, Bonello is eager to revisit his original passion in two very different shows next year. In the first show, and about 10 years after shooting the successful pilot for “Cooked,” Justin returns a little older and somewhat wiser. The destination? A Cooked reunion on the island of Reunion. This 10-part series, titled “Cooked: The Reunion”, is the seventh season of “Cooked” and will see Justin reunite with his friends on an all new nostalgic road trip, revisiting some of their favourite places and setting off on new adventures.
The second show, titled “Fire” takes Justin’s love for cooking on the open fire to an entirely new level. After driving on almost every dirt road in South Africa, Justin is taking his love for that umami taste across the world – from the Argentinean spits to the Barbeque culture of the USA, across the Mediterranean through Asia and all the way down under to Australia. He will travel the globe to seek out the hidden cultures and recipes of the fire. Both new series are currently in the early stages of pre-production.
And finally, Cooked In Africa Films’ non-scripted culinary and craft beer tour, titled “Beer Country”, and hosted by “Ultimate Braai Master” top-5 team, Greg Gilowey and Karl Tessendorf (brothers-in-law) is South Africa’s first ever TV show dedicated to beer, food, fire and the open road. The thirsty pair set off on a road trip in search of the best craft beers in the country while creating new pairing combinations with their combined love of the braai. Represented by TVF, “Beer Country” has been sold in some surprising international territories, including India and Burma, with more big news coming soon!
For more information or to see what Cooked in Africa Films is cooking up next, visit www.cookedinafrica.com.
For more news on what is in the pipeline for Cooked in Africa see below:-
Coming Soon from Cooked in Africa Films!
After years of experience, Cooked in Africa has been successful in spotting massive potential in new show ideas and 2016 will be no different. In July this year the Team collaborated with Okuhle Media to produce the successful Sony talent-show format entitled “Showville”. After spending five months on the road filming and scouting for local talent, the local version of “Showville” is in post-production ahead of its February 2016 debut on SABC 2. Hosted by local comedian Rob van Vuuren (from SA’s Got Talent fame) and versatile actress, dancer and choreographer, Bontle Modiselle, “Showville” is a heart-warming, talent contest that showcases wonderful, quirky and unexpected talent in off-the-beaten track communities across South Africa. The winner in each town walks away with their well-deserved moment of fame and R10 000 in cash.
The season pilot for “A Dinner Affair” was recently shot in Cape Town. This all-new format series by Cooked in Africa Films invites audiences to watch intimidated hosts seek help from the Dinner Affair Team, as they attempt to prepare the perfect dinner party for their unsuspecting guests.
“Surf’s Cooking” is another original taste tantaliser series produced by Cooked in Africa Films. Featuring two local heartthrobs Matt Bromley (pro-surfer and three times SA champion) and best friend Ollie Swart (an up-and-coming young chef), the duo successfully combine two of South Africa’s favourite pastimes in a fun adventure to some of the country’s most exotic surf locations in a series of weekends away.
“Snout to Tail” is an exciting new 10-part series where Cooked in Africa Films challenges some of the country’s top local chefs to prepare a whole animal from snout to tail to serve in their restaurants. The series aims to rekindle that forgotten knowledge of yesteryear and to show viewers how to create some of the most delicious and ingenious dishes using the entire carcass at five-star standards.
Solo-adventurer, filmmaker and environmental activist, Kayden Kleynhans, has been single-handedly navigating the globe by bicycle in a bid to raise awareness of the world’s over-reliance on fossil fuels. In 2012 he set off on a 25 000km solo cycling expedition from Afrikaburn in the heart of the Karoo to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert to deliver a special journal at the Burning Man festival. Produced by Cooked in Africa Films, this self-shot eight-part Series entitled “Global Wheeling” is currently being broadcast in America and invites viewers to join Kayden as he embraces the challenges and rewards that come with spending a year on the road.
Based on the success of the first Season, Cooked in Africa will be documenting two new seasons of Kayden’s solo-expeditions. The first, titled “The Silk Road,” will see Kayden attempt the toughest route yet as he cycles the entire continent of Asia, covering ten countries in nine months and traveling 15 000kms of the world’s toughest terrain. In the third season of Global Wheeling, entitled “An Indian Odyssey,” Kayden will embark on a six month solo-adventure across the ancient ruins and culturally rich Sri-Lanka cycling through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, nestled high in the North Indian Himalayas. Kayden will have to navigate the densely populated streets and bustling cities of India en route to the top of the world as he attempts to cycle mountain passes as high as the Everest basecamp.
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