I was beyond excited to interview Brett Rogers. He has the coolest job ever; going around SA, meeting phenomenal people and trying out amazing food, booze and getting inked. The excitement, however, turned to anxiety when I was asked to choose a location for the meet.
How do you pick a place for someone who has literally been to the most awesome places in the country? Would my place be cool enough? I settled on Little Saint and my nerves only let up when I walked into the restaurant.
Brett was sitting at a table, casually talking to the owner as if they were old friends. He is clearly in his element, engaging with a fellow creative and learning about something new. No wonder his show has done so well here and internationally. He is a natural at making people comfortable and getting them to open up. Fear forgotten, the excitement returns and I can’t wait to hear all about his interesting journey.
You describe yourself as a multi person and have been involved in many different things. How did you get involved with Food Booze & Tattoos?
I used to frequent a restaurant in Melville in Johannesburg called The Ant. One of the waitresses there, who I knew, got a job at a production company and she saw the proposal for the show. She was like ‘Brett, you need to get him’. They contacted me, set up a meeting and asked if I want to do it. I said yes, they said cool, let’s do it. I got very lucky.
What was it like when you first got started?
Filming the pilot was extremely challenging. I was too aware of the camera and the lighting people. I realised that my job was to make the other person feel comfortable enough to talk, so if I was feeling slightly anxious, they were going to feel that too. After day one, I remember thinking, how do I do this? How do I do my job in a way that works with the camera and the person in front of me? I decided the camera doesn’t exist. Sure I will get in position, do it right for them, but other than that they don’t exist, and that was a big realisation.
What was the best and worst parts of making the show?
The best and worst part is exactly the same thing. It’s travelling with nine people in a Quantum for 35 days. That was the best of times and the worst of times. After 10 hours of driving, the team would sit around, and I’d be on the other side of the road at another restaurant. I actually learnt that from our driver, Silence. After all those hours together, we just needed space, but I loved being with them. My best friends are in that crew. They were incredibly inspiring and all talented, they blew my mind. I knew I had to step up to keep up with them.
How did you select the people/places you featured in the show?
I chose 95% of the people we featured on the show, so I knew they were going to be good and cool in their own way. A lot of the places I chose were from my own knowledge and I had referrals. The more you talk to people and do you research, the more amazing places you find.
As a Jozi local, what is your impression of Cape Town?
I think Cape Town Has the capability to be one of the most awesome cities in the world. I’ve worked out that I can’t come here with a Johannesburg attitude. Once you get here, you need to contact people and say right let’s go do stuff, and everyone will be like ‘Yeah! Let’s go!’ I love that, I love the lifestyle, I think that’s Cape Town’s greatest attraction.
Is there anything in the Cape Town shows that you are really excited for people to see?
Ninjabreadboy, I got a tattoo from him and he’s such an incredible artist, such a beautiful thinker, and he really put a lot of care in his art. Tyler B Murphy, he is such a great historian of tattoos, he cares about the art so much. I love House of Machines, they really care about what they do, and that’s what the show is really about, people who care about what they are doing and love their work.
You’ve lived here for a bit, what are your favourite places in Cape Town?
I really love the music at Up Yours. I love Haas; every time I go there, the art just blows me away. Bread Milk and Honey have these bacon egg tarts that are just perfect. I like Cape Point; there’s a beautiful little beach near there that I love, the water is so warm! I really love the view of the city from upper Bloem Road in the Bo-Kaap, the top level at The Waiting Room is beautiful, and finally, I love Firemans Arms.
You can catch Brett on Food Booze & Tattoos on SABC 3 every Thursday at 9 pm