Arguably one of South Africa’s most famous culinary personalities – the first South African Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is making a big return to South Africa.
This time he’s not focused on cosmopolitan settings, rather the serenity of the African bush – which led to a fascinating partnership.
With the Oppenheimer family, the chef is on a mission to lead an incredible project that celebrates the unexplored culinary territory of the vast Kalahari.
This year he will open Klein Jan at one of South Africa’s leading private game reserves, Tswalu Kalahari.
Driven by the values of local authenticity, heritage, and sustainability of the environment, Klein Jan is poised to become the place where the region’s vast culinary offering will be translated into world-class cuisine.
Discovering this unexplored culinary territory with its potential has been a dream of Jan Hendrik’s for a while. In addition, JAN Innovation Studio, a new development kitchen, will be opening its doors in Cape Town, where a team of chefs and students will continually develop and innovate South African cuisine.
The Cape Town team will share their findings with their colleagues at Michelin star restaurant JAN in Nice, France, which will remain one of the premier gateways for sharing South African cuisine with the world.
JAN Innovation Studio will also be home to JAN the JOURNAL, a biannual publication that shares Jan Hendrik’s ideas, passion, and curiosity about the culinary world. This collector’s book is available in both South Africa and in Europe.
What happens now?
• Tswalu is currently closed for a major renovation and is expected to reopen June.
• Once reopened, Jan Hendrik will be collaborating with the lodge to create a food and beverage experience that is in line with the luxury accommodation offering.
• The JAN Innovation Studio will be located on Kloof Street in Cape Town. This will essentially be an incubation space to train, already leading culinary students, ahead of being posted to either JAN in Nice or Tswalu.
• In early 2020, Klein Jan will open at the lodge.
For more information visit restaurantjan.com