South African-born chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen has been causing quite a stir in the culinary scene of late. South Africans rejoiced when the local chef become the country’s first chef to be awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant, Jan located in Nice, France. Now, the chef is bringing yet more good news home as he’s announced plans to open a restaurant in his home country by 2020! With a focus on local cuisine, the new fine dinning venture, Klein Jan, is set to be a little wild at heart.
Born and raised on a farm in Nelspruit, van der Westhuizen always knew he would one day return to the bush and his beloved South Africa, and now, that dream is becoming a reality thanks to a partnership with Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Located in the Northern Cape, the luxury Oppenheimer owned game reserve and lodge will be the new home of Klein Jan restaurant, Chef Jan Hendrik’s first luxury South African culinary project. For this new eatery, Jan Hendrik promises to create a food and drinks experience that’s in line with the luxury lodge’s offering while still celebrating the often unexplored flavours of the vast Kalahari.
But the good news doesn’t stop there; in addition to this exciting new restaurant, the chef will also be opening the JAN Innovation Studio, in Cape Town. The new development kitchen will serve as a place where a team of chefs and students will continually develop and innovate South African cuisine. The studio will offer culinary students the opportunity to be trained by Jan Hendrik and his team ahead of receiving a position at either JAN in Nice or Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is currently closed for a major renovation and will re-open around 15 June, 2019, with Klein Jan opening its doors at the lodge in early 2020.