The South African renowned Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s new seasonal restaurant in Franschhoek opens this week, and after only a week since the news of this new venture spread the restaurant is almost fully booked.
This, what is described as an “exceptional food and wine experience”, will be offered in the historic Veepos cottage on the La Motte wine farm. The cottage, which dates from 1712 and is set in picturesque lavender fields, is probably one of the most photographed scenes in the Franschhoek Valley.
Van der Westhuizen wrote on Facebook that JAN Franschhoek will offer a culinary journey inspired by the surrounding river and mountains.
He said when he first saw the picturesque little cottage of Veepos in the middle of the Franschhoek Valley’s lavender fields at La Motte he couldn’t help but wonder why it wasn’t a highly exclusive restaurant.
“Now, years later, JAN Franschhoek will open its doors to the art of cooking,” says Van der Westhuizen, who sees his latest culinary adventure as a tribute to his early years in the winelands, when he was honing his skills as a chef.
Only 16 guests will be catered for at a time and there are only a few seats left. Van der Westhuizen said the restaurant will be open from 1 December to 31 May.
JAN Franschhoek’s team will be led by Antro Davel from the JAN group and head chef Anzette Klynhans. Van der Westhuizen will fulfil the role of culinary director.
Chief executive director of La Motte, Hein Koegelenberg, said that the La Motte family is always looking for interesting and creative ways to share their passion for wine and food with guests.
“We have been fans of Jan Hendrik’s dinner-table storytelling since enjoying his Michelin star experience in Nice, and we are honoured and excited to host him and his team in the Franschhoek Valley. We can’t wait to offer guests a delicious once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience at La Motte.”
This culinary experience will be based on Van der Westhuizen’s ever-popular television show JAN RSVP, where he invites people for the food experience “of a lifetime” and makes a dish for each guest that is inspired by their own stories.
He and his guests cook together, talk about life, old recipes, traditions and dishes.
Van der Westhuizen has a Michelin star restaurant JAN in France, as well as the restaurant Klein JAN in the Tswalu Game Reserve in the Kalahari.
He also has a development kitchen in Cape Town, where a team of chefs and students work together to further develop and innovate South African food.