New head chef for two-star Restaurant Klein JAN

Restaurant Klein JAN has announced its new head chef, Jessica Fourie, who will be Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s right hand on the crimson-red ground at Tswalu in the Northern Cape. The restaurant received two Eat Out stars at the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards and was awarded the Eat Out Lexus Style Award.

Jessica’s journey with Klein JAN started in 2021 when she joined the team as Chef de Partie. As a result of her talent and hard work, she was promoted to Senior Sous Chef in 2023. Jan Hendrik says, “Jess grew up in the Kalahari and understands the deep-rooted culinary culture. She has been growing with the Klein JAN team for three years now and steps into the leadership position of the kitchen with confidence and a soft, kindred love for people and food.”

For Jessica, it’s the Kalahari and all its challenges that not only excite her but keep her grounded as she steps into her new role. “Each week, we have something to be grateful for and something to look forward to,” she says. “One moment everything is barren, and the next moment, rain pours from the sky, and 100 flowers bloom all around.”

At Klein JAN, as with all of Jan Hendrik’s restaurants, a fundamental philosophy is to cook with local and seasonal ingredients. An ethos Jessica embraces wholeheartedly. “We look forward to seasonal local ingredients which spark creativity and innovation,” she says. “The team is amazing and supportive every step of the way, which makes my life much easier.”

Later this year, Jessica will spend some time at Restaurant JAN in Nice, France  – the mothership of the JAN Brand.

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