Just over a year ago, Grainne Seoige and her husband Leon Jordaan returned from South Africa to their native Galway and the broadcaster’s better half came up with the idea to give Ireland a taste of its South African routes.
Leon wants to reinvent the Irish BBQ as a summer novelty to use on our few hot days before it quickly gets covered up and forgotten for months. Instead, the former rugby coach encourages people to broaden their barbecue palette and create a year-round experience with dedicated outdoor barbecue rooms.
The former rugby coach and his partner Darin Claasen have imported a range of equipment, including freestanding and built-in barbecues to give Irish people the full Braai (South African barbecue) experience, via the company Fireboks.
Speaking of RSVP Home, an avid Leon tells us about the barbecue business, why the Irish need to beef up their barbecue cookbook and his life in Galway with the gorgeous Grainne.
“A little over a year ago, after Grainne and I left South Africa, our main focus was our Grace Diamonds business, but I thought I had to do something for myself as well,” Leon said.
“A few things crossed my mind at the same time and it all culminated in the idea of introducing the Irish to the barbecue lifestyle we grew up with.”
“When we were growing up it was not uncommon to barbecue two or three times a week, yes of course the weather plays a huge role and makes it a lot easier. But people can also be very finicky if the weather isn’t great, so most homes come pre-designed with barbecue rooms or at least a designated barbecue area.
“So when I found out that in Ireland you can build a 20 square meter extension on your house without planning permission, and it was lockdown, I thought; ‘why isn’t everyone building- it not a barbecue room?’.
“We went to South Africa and set up a supply chain and contracts with manufacturers for me to import them. So I started importing the large self-contained units, as well as the units that are encased in the wall as well as mobiles and small units and everything grew from there”.
Read Leon’s full interview and find out more about the Fireboks at RSVP Home, on shelves now.
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