A Flavourful Commemoration of the Rainbow Nation

South Africans are so fond of the braai, a national holiday has been dedicated to their favourite pastime
Johannesburg, South Africa

September 24 marks the annual celebration of one of South Africa’s most beloved public holidays, Heritage Day, better known as Braai Day.

Originally a Zulu day of remembrance honouring the legacy of legendary leader King Shaka and his unmatched ability to unite the warring people of the Zulu Kingdom, the day is meant to embrace, accept and uphold the diverse cultures of South Africa.

Honouring this holiday by feasting around the fire, it was only a matter of time before Heritage Day became synonymous with South Africa’s favourite pastime, braaing.

At Flames – one of five exciting restaurants at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg – it’s braai day everyday!

An outdoor braai area, where meat and fish are cooked to perfection, forms the restaurant’s heart. The urban-casual Flames menu features a smattering of reinterpreted South African classics – think pizzas, hearty stews or the best burger you’ve ever tasted. Flames is all about unpretentious food – made with the finest ingredients. A fixed menu, available all day, will be supplemented by chalkboard specials. “I’ll even be treating diners to some of the favourites I rustle up at home,” Dirk Gieselmann, the Hotel’s Executive Chef says.

Gieselmann, who previously served as chef de cuisine at the famed Michelin three-star Auberge de l’Ill restaurant in France’s Alsace region for seven years, is a talented globetrotting German whose CV includes stints at La Réserve de Beaulieu and Le Negresco in Nice, Tahiti and the famed Le Cirque in New York City. 

Interesting Facts

  • The first braais happened when meat was accidentally dropped into fires, later removed and then eaten. The early humans found that the meat not only tasted better than raw meat, but could also be chewed easier.
  • Braaing originated in South Africa.