We are very happy to let you know that Chef Margot Janse of Le Quartier Francais’ s multi award-winning restaurant, The Tasting Room in South Africa, will be participating in the 15th anniversary of Chef Nigel Howarth`s annual OBSESSION festival at Northcote Manor. Margot will be cooking on the 3rd February 2015, alongside Chefs Angela Hartnett (Murano and Limewood) and Lisa Allen (Northcote). Though her time in the UK will be limited Margot will be available for interviews whilst she is in Langho, Lancashire.
We also have news of a collaboration between Margot and the national museum of her motherland- The Rijksmuseum in theNetherlands, home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. In January Margot will be shining her light on the museum`s newly opened RIJKS restaurant by curating the menu and creating new dishes with the restaurant`s own chefs. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, the menu will feature dishes that primarily focus on products from Dutch soil. A team of top chefs under the supervision of Joris Bijdendijk will be reinforced with an internationally renowned guest chef curating each season. Margot will be the first. For more information, take a look here.
ABOUT CHEF MARGOT JANSE, QUEEN OF SOUTH AFRICAN CUISINE
Dutch-born Margot Janse, who has been at The Tasting Room for almost 2 decades, offers the finest and most genuine South African dining experience through an 8 course African Surprise Tasting Menu which showcases and reinterprets indigenous South African and African produce.
Janse does not just pay lip service to ‘local produce’ and ‘seasonality’. Her aim is to be 100% African. When she first arrived in South Africa over 20 years ago, she witnessed a culinary culture where chefs and restaurateurs dismissed local delicacies and products in favour of flown-in scallops, foie gras and cheese. At Le Quartier Francais, Janse has taken a different path, embracing a distinctly local direction, sourcing ingredients from Le Quartier Francais’s gardens or small producers who are as passionate as she is. Quail comes from nearby Paradyskloof, tennis-ball sized truffles are gathered in the Kalahari, cocoa is sourced from Madagascar and coffee from Ethiopia. The restaurant produces its own butter, bakes its bread daily and has barrels of home-made vinegar in its store room. Traditional South African flavours and ingredients such as spekboom and baobab are re-examined then reworked to create modern, refined dishes.
Janse is one of the few females named by Relais & Chateaux as one of its “Grand Chefs” (and one of only two Grand Chefs in Africa). Many have compared her work in South Africa to that of Alex Atala’s in Brazil. There are obvious similarities- both reworking indigenous ingredients in modern, exciting ways and both inviting the world to discover their country’s culinary identity.