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  • Robyn Kars

Smoking & Grinding with Jacques Engelbrecht

Updated: Dec 7, 2022



As we draw nearer to the end of this year, we look back on all of our accomplishments and set our sights on what we hope to achieve in the new year. I recently met Chef Jacques Engelbrecht who, with his experience as a smoker and innovative cook, is helping us close out the year in style. I encountered him at Red Barn in Centurion's Big George BBQ Smoking Competition in March 2022 where he was representing his business Smoke & Grind. His passion for his craft was unmistakable and his company branding shone like that of a 5-star establishment. WagyuCookBook.com and Foods of Tomorrow are pleased to feature Jacques this month as he shares some of his excellent Wagyu recipes. He's a busy man, juggling competitions and building a successful smoking business, but who could say no to creating some festive dishes this December :)


A little bit about Jacques; After completing his chef studies in 1999, Jacques Engelbrecht pursued his career in the food industry by working in various restaurants in Pretoria and later on the Rovos Rail (Ficksburg) where he honed his unique skillset and over the years developed his style in food making. HIs reputation has allowed him to cook for celebrities and honored chefs including world-famous chef Chantal Dartnall and her staff at the exquisite Restaurant Mosaic.

In his work, innovation and creativity are highly valued. Jacques takes classic styles and combines them with bold flavors to make stunning new creations. His craftsmanship pushes the limits and strives for extraordinary results. No matter what he does, he does it for the fun of it. Food teaches him patience and encourages him to stay curious and strive for knowledge.




For the past eight years, he's been perfecting his craft in the art of smoking. Through trial and error, he's developed his style. By combining this with his existing skillset, he's able to provide original culinary creations as a private chef and compete in various food competitions. His dishes are a stunning blend of flavors coupled with his creative presentation.


Jacques says; “I believe one should always push the boundaries, testing and playing with food, combinations and styles, do your research, test and improve, it keeps your food honest.”


He then continues; “I love the camaraderie that food invokes, the alliances it forms, bringing people together and the enjoyment it brings people to interact with your food and more so, enjoy eating it”



"As a chef, I understand the importance of incorporating fire into my cooking. Fire brings out flavor components that you can't find elsewhere. To reach the peak of excellence, I must commit to refining my craft – constantly testing, improving and fine-tuning what I make. My mission is to always provide high-quality food for my customers. Prepared with the utmost care and attention!"


Jacques has won several competitions in 2021, including the Braai the Beloved Country “Chopped” competition in Pretoria, twice the “Kom Ons Braai” TV show competition, and in the top 30 National Checkers Champion Boerewors competition and continues on a winning streak in 2022..




2022

*1st place – Biltong & Boerewors festival Pretoria (Boerewors section) (Botanical gardens)

*3rd place – Biltong & Boerewors festival Pretoria (Biltong section) (Botanical gardens)

*2nd place - Big Red Barn SASBA Smoking BBQ competition (Chicken) (Centurion)

*Top 8 - National Burger Challenge @Gallagher Estate Africa Big 7 (148 entries) judged by Chefs Jeff Shueremans, Philippe Frydman & co.

*2nd place overall - Big George BBQ Smoking Competition (Parys, FS) (3rd Ribs, 1st Chicken)

*1st place – “Kom Ons Braai” TV show competition (Via)

*1st place - Big George Invitation Smoking BBQ Heritage Day competition

*Provide training in BBQ Smoking

*Private chef

*Hosting BBQ Smoking events in South Africa





Smoke & Grind

This multifaceted company's origins stem from the owner’s undeniable passion for food, the comradery it invokes and the search for new, beyond-ordinary recipes, experiences and constant innovation that Jacques Engelbrecht brings to the table (literally). He believes in “good food, done right”.

The company has two wings, they are the purveyors of various food products that will not only boost your food, but also make your people talk, and make them wonder, how did you get your food so flavorful? His smoked rock salt will elevate your dishes to a new level. They also produce smoked, aged jalapeno sauce, bacon jam (it’s like doggy treats for humans -yep, you'll do tricks), various dry rubs and lastly basting sauces that will give you goosebumps with bold flavors incorporating coffee, bourbon and cherries.

The second wing of Smoke & Grind involves Jacques taking on the role of a private chef, bringing his signature flair to your table. In addition, Smoke & Grind organizes outdoor food events, such as barbecues, intimate corporate functions and meat smoking competitions. Through their efforts over the last few years, they have introduced numerous innovative concepts to their craft. To stay sharp, Jacques enters different competitions to challenge himself with different disciplines and garner top-notch results.




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