Charl Schwartzel just wants to grill.
Just about any night of the year, that wouldn't be a problem, but on Tuesday, the 2011 Masters winner will host the annual Champions Dinner at Augusta National for the exclusive club that has earned green jackets. It's not exactly the time or place to don an apron and ask the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus how they like their steaks.
"Well, I mean, we were going to try and do a barbecue," Schwartzel said. "In South Africa we call it a 'braai.'"
The hope was not just to be hands on, but to also provide a laid back atmosphere for the otherwise austere event.
"I don't like very formal dinners," he admitted. "I thought of keeping it very relaxed, sort of standing around a fire and cooking the meat."
But both Schwartzel and the golf club eventually decided it would be best if the chefs were left to tend the coals so that the defending champ could get the most out of the evening surrounded by golfing royalty. But the 27-year-old did get his wish for the menu, one inspired start to finish by the food of his home.
The appetizers include two South African favorites. Biltong (below, left) is a cured meat, similar to beef jerky. There will also be droëwors, a type of thin, dried sausage. Several seafood options including shrimp and lobster will be grilled outdoors to keep with the theme of the evening as well.
When the swarm of champions heads inside for the main course, Schwartzel has some larger cuts in store.
"We'll put some lamb chops, fillet steaks, a thing we call boerewors," he said. "It's a sausage that is very sort of famous in South Africa."
Traditional barbecue sides will include salad, corn on the cob and jacket potatoes, also known here in the states simply as baked potatoes.
Several desserts will be offered including an egg custard called melktart. But not to be missed are the meringues made from a recipe that belongs to Schwartzel's mother-in-law.
But the most interesting dish of the night is a steak accompaniment called monkey gland sauce. Despite the name, it includes no primate parts. It's a blend of fruit chutney, ketchup, worcestershire, hot sauce, port wine, mustard powder, garlic, onions and more. Although the list of ingredients sounds just as off-putting as the name, Schwartzel must think it will be a hit.
"I like it to be fun and relaxed, something that everyone will eat," he said. "If you bring in funny sort of foods, not everyone eats it."
Somehow I think Schwartzel will have plenty of monkey gland sauce to take home.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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