We catch up with South African chef and patron of Michelin-star Restaurant JAN in Nice, where he serves our Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blancs 2016 and soon the Krone Borealis 2019 too.

We grabbed a moment with Jan to get to know this multi-award winning chef a little better.

We love this quote by you “you deserve to have joy in your life.” How can people interpret this into their daily lives? 

I think now, more than ever, we need to realise how short and precious our time is. It’s not about just being alive, but to really live your life to the fullest. Do things you always wanted to do, tackle new ideas before they leave you, and just arrive, even if you don’t always feel in the mood. 

You are a collector and creator of beautiful things – have you always been like this?

Good question. You made me scroll back into my past as a young boy, collecting old and beautiful things, and making collections of some sort. I love the magic of organised clutter and the potential to group things, ingredients, and people together that you would never think can be matched.

Can you share an anecdote from your life that encapsulates this passion?

I can’t sit still. I imagine something and then I HAVE to bring it to life. Sometimes, it’s not great and you fail horribly, but then you get to smile at yourself and try something else. We overthink the process of creativity way too much. Just to create is already more than what most people do.

Describe your philosophy and approach to creativity, what makes you tick? 

There are different aspects. Practical, executable (on repeat) by other team members and leaving it to breathe. This applies especially to restaurants. I step away from my creations a lot and review them from a distance, and most importantly, give it some time. And then there is the ridiculous magic that happens when I collaborate with other like-minded creatives. 

"I’ve come a long way with Krone Cap Classique. It conjures up memories and takes me back to some of the best times of my life. I tell these stories to my guests.” - Jan Hendrik

As a champion of South African food and wine – can you share your thoughts on Cap Classique, and what sets it apart from other sparkling wines globally? 

From first-hand experience, when we do blind tastings at JAN in France, most of our clientele love it more than Champagne... that says it all, doesn’t it?! I’ve come a long way with Krone Cap Classique. It triggers memories and takes me back to some of the best times of my life. I never miss an opportunity to relay these stories to my guests. 

At Krone we produce Vintage Only Cap Classique in the traditional method. We believe that each vintage tells a story, celebrating a moment in time and place. Do you have any thoughts on this concept and what it means to you personally? 

I’m a traditionalist, but I also love innovation. So, to celebrate the character of each harvest is like utilising the blank canvas provided by nature. This really excites me!

Speaking of… we have to ask, what dish would you pair with our Kaaimansgat Blanc De Blancs 2016, any thoughts?

Frozen apple, strong cheese, and a haddock velouté with scallops.

The new JAN Journal is out, what can readers look forward to in this new edition?

We celebrate the new chef: fit, healthy, innovative, stylish and curious. The industry has changed, and we need to acknowledge this. Quality over quantity.

And… congratulations on opening Restaurant Klein JAN at Tswalu Kalahari! What were some of the unexpected moments of this project, and can you share some highlights?

Of course, the delays with building and construction really gave us a hard time. Then there was a lot of rain, followed by a massive flood days before opening the restaurant. I saw this as a blessing from the skies, and it was incredible to see the new produce that just popped up in and around the area that has been in seed form under the ground for decades. Nature is incredible and I am so humbled to be able to come back to our beautiful South Africa more often with this project at Tswalu.

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