Braam Kruger, (fondly) remembered


The last time Braam was in hospital, he claimed it was for a penis reduction. This time he wasn’t joking.bk Braam Kruger, (fondly) remembered

I got to know this inspired and outrageous chef during our joint membership of the SA Food & Wine Writers Guild, essentially a glorified lunch club founded with one of its lofty aims to stamp out the curse of conflicts of interest which bedevil SA food and wine writing. Alas the Guild collapsed when it turned out that just about the only things we had in common were our fiercely defended conflicts of interest.

Braam bowed out a couple of meetings before I did, incensed that Shirley Guy refused to let him smoke in her all-singing, all-dancing show kitchen with giant tiltable mirrors above the stove. For Braam, the comfort of guests trumped any other consideration.

Perhaps the best ever Guild function took place at Braam’s rambling mansion in Observatory. He served his trademark whole fish (Red Roman) and guests were told to sit on whichever chair made them most comfortable. The chairs were painted in anatomically correct detail à la Lucien Freud, with male and female private parts mirroring those of the sitters.

After lunch, a lady member of the Guild in twinset and pearls, disappeared upstairs for a guided tour of Braam’s collection of handcuffs and gynecological instruments. When her shrieks disturbed the postprandial gossip, we rushed upstairs to find her valiantly fighting off Braam’s advances. “But why did you lead him on so” we all asked. “When I saw his red nail varnish, I thought he was gay and so wouldn’t be interested in me” was her reply.

Duh! Everyone knew that Braam wore red nail varnish to provide the illusion of someone else soaping his privates in the shower.

Braam Kruger, 1950-2008, RIP.