Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is the first South African chef to receive a coveted Michelin star. Currently, as the owner-chef of the restaurant simply named JAN in Nice on the French Riviera, Jan Hendrik is one of the brightest young culinary stars South Africa has delivered over the past few years.
His creative cooking combines the ultimate pursuit in excellence through creative flair with an unquestionable tasty smack of artistic creativity, while at the same time infusing his cuisine with the unique flavours and styles of his South African roots. He has also turned the expectations of his French customers around by including South African wines on his wine-list and going out of his way to espouse the merits of our country’s wines.
Jan Hendrik’s path to Nice and Michelin star status began in the kitchens and on the tables of his mother and grandmother in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Here the notion of true hospitality and the preparation of food with love for family and friends made its mark, and to this day remains the hallmark of the approach in his own kitchen.
Before turning to professional cooking, Jan Hendrik was a renowned magazine designer and stylist, and made his mark as photographer – a passion he follows to this day. His career as food editor and photographer for ELLE magazine in South Africa was followed by a stint at the magazine’s Paris offices after which Jan Hendrik founded an event’s company, working with top international brands, including various Champagnes.
From his base in France Jan Hendrik was given the opportunity of opening JAN in 2013 after working as a chef on a luxury yacht based in Monaco. Generating excellent reviews and having established a reputation for fine dining with his original South African flair, JAN received One Michelin Star recognition in 2016 and 2017.
His two cookery books – JAN a Breath of French Air and The French Affair – Tables of Love – have been best-sellers and taken the standard of South African cookery books to a new level, with Jan Hendrik not only developing the recipes, but also responsible for design and photography.