South African-born chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of Michelin-starred restaurant JAN in Nice, France, has become known as the country’s first chef to be awarded a Michelin star. Now, he’s announced plans to open a restaurant in his home country by 2020.
The celebrated chef – who was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga – will be collaborating with Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, owned by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer in the Northern Cape, to create a food-and-drinks experience that’s in line with the luxury lodge’s offering. The new restaurant, which will be named KLEIN JAN, will become the space for Jan to create world-class cuisine using the region’s vast culinary offering. “I always knew I would one day return to the bush, to the campfires and open skies of my beloved South Africa,” says Jan on his Instagram announcement.
Until then, Jan-Hendrik is in the process of opening JAN Innovation Studio on Kloof Street in Cape Town. Here culinary students will be trained ahead of receiving a position at either JAN in Nice or Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. It will also be where the chef works on JAN the JOURNAL, a biannual publication that shares Jan Hendrik’s ideas, passion and curiosity about the culinary world.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is currently closed for a major renovation and will re-open around 15 June. In early 2020, KLEIN JAN will open at the lodge.
Stay tuned to Eat Out for further developments.