First SA Chef to earn Michelin star status set to cook at VIP event
Monday, March 7, 2016
In 2016, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, co-owner of JAN Restaurant in Nice, France became the first South African born restaurateur to receive a Michelin star, which is the hallmark of fine dining quality around the world. On 15 March 2016 an elite group of by-invitation-only guests will have the chance to experience a taste of Jan Hendrik’s cuisine at Aurelia’s restaurant, Emperors Palace. Shortly after, on 17 March, he will also launch his new book: JAN – A Breath of French Air to the public, at the premises.‘We at Emperors Palace are honoured to be associated with Jan Hendrik and to be a partner with publishing house, Penguin Random House, in hosting these illustrious occasions,’ states Jegie Padmanathan, Peermont Hotels and Resorts Executive. ‘The resort is also proud and extremely excited to welcome Jan Hendrik,’ enthuses Padmanathan.
Always innovative and ever evolving to meet the high expectations of its discerning clientele, Aurelia’s restaurant, which is located along the northern façade of the award-winning 5-star Peermont D’oreale Grande, has undergone an elegant, modern makeover. ‘We feel that this creates the perfect milieu for Jan Hendrik to demonstrate his culinary art’, Padmanathan concludes.
Since the 1900s, Michelin has been renowned for using anonymous reviewers who are instructed to remain inconspicuous to critique restaurants unexpectedly. Based on their reviews, Michelin stars are awarded for excellence to a select few restaurants that are then featured in the Michelin Red Guide. To date, Michelin stars remain the most prestigious restaurant rating globally and the attainment or loss of it can have a significant impact on the success of a restaurant.
Van der Westhuizen says that for a new restaurant to earn any form of recognition in France; is no small feat. ‘JAN is a South African-themed restaurant. Initially, when my partner Pascal Szafranski and I launched it, it was a bit like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo. We had to adjust the cuisine slightly and we could not just serve bobotie, for example.’ Whichever way, JAN must be a hit amongst the French as it received its first mention in the Michelin Guide a mere eight months after opening its doors in 2013. From there, the restaurant just went from strength to strength and it was recently awarded its first One Michelin Star in the 2016 French Guide Michelin. This makes Van der Westhuizen the first South African restaurateur in history to receive this esteemed accolade in the world.
Emperors Palace is a Peermont resort. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @emperorspalace.