le quartier français

Margot Janse is TOPKOK

The articles keep pouring in. Margot Janse has recently been featured in Dutch magazine, Maandblad Zuid-Afrika (South Africa Monthly) for her guest chef appearance at Rijks Restaurant in Amsterdam.

We used Google Translate to decipher the spread, and what struck us most was this description of her inspiration of Rembrandt and Vermeer for her dishes at Rijks.

*We’ve edited the excerpt as the quick-fix Internet translation can read a little rough.

For her appearance as a guest chef,  Janse has carefully examined the work of the great seventeenth-century painters, Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as the still lifes of less familiar painters such as Pieter Claesz , Floris van Dyck and Adriaen van Utrecht .

“With Vermeer I was mostly inspired by his use of colour,” she says. “One of his favourite colours was yellow, and yellow made ​​me immediately think of the maize in South Africa.”

vermeer-GirlPearlEarring-PtgLarge

Therefore she has a beautiful soup “made ​​of a maize velouté, finished with milk and Madagascan pepper, as nod to the Milkmaid.

As the light in Vermeer’s work always comes from the left, the chef interprets this with a shadow of corn powder and black sesame to the right of the dish. The sesame, according to Janse was used, as the food you often see in Vermeer’s paintings is bread with sesame seeds on it.

For dessert, the late Rembrandt was her inspiration. One of the ingredients she brought from South Africa was baobab powder. It’s said to be very healthy as it’s rich in calcium and vitamin C. It has a sour taste and if you add the milk, it tastes similar to yoghurt.

Janse created a dessert of baobab curd, coconut ice cream and honey caramelised macadamia with a honey bush sauce. “Rembrandt was a bit more radical in his later life in his way of painting,” says Janse. “He used heavier brushwork, and also more emotion. Therefore, we explain that baobab curd, or labneh, are like rough daubs on the canvas.”

“It has to be right,” she says with conviction. “I believe in telling stories. I can just put fun stuff on a plate, but a dish must also have depth, a soul. “

See the article below:

74755_ZuidAfrika02 8

74755_ZuidAfrika02 9

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, Press & Media,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Girls Night Out

Last night, Margot Janse dazzled diners at Michelin Star restaurant, Northcote in the heart of Lancashire.

femalechefs1

Billed as a ‘Girl’s Night Out (part of Obsession 2015)’, Margot and two other superstar female chefs prepared a 5-course dinner. Joining her at the pass was Angela Hartnett of MuranoLimewood as well as Northcote’s own, Lisa Allen.

The premise? ‘Take three highly talented female chefs each with their own unique style. Blend South African innovation with Italian inspired flair and Northcote’s very own ‘darling of the kitchen’ and you can rest assured you’re in for an exceptional evening.’

Here are Margot’s highlights:

smoked eel

Smoked eel, cucumber & horseradish consomme, daikon and quinoa salad, sorrel nori

Margot preparing beer fed Dexter beef biltong

Margot preparing beer fed Dexter beef biltong

Beer fed Dexter beef, biltong, African bush braai, sour fig

Beer fed Dexter beef, biltong, African bush braai, sour fig

See more of the food, and  go over here for some candid shots of the chefs.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Margot Janse, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Margot Janse Gastkok at RIJKS® Restaurant

What a way to start the year… by introducing unique African flavours and ingredients to a willing, and hungry culinary audience in Amsterdam.

For just one week, our Executive Chef Margot Janse is a Gastkok aka guest chef  at the the newly opened RIJKS® Restaurant at the world-renowned cultural icon, The Rijksmuseum. For more info go here.

margot and Rijks team

Here’s the one-of-a-kind-menu; from the heartlands of South Africa, to no doubt, the hearts of Holland.

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Haring,  vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Baobab hangop, coconut sorbet, macadamia, salted honeybush caramel

* ‘Braaioili’ is a smoked Aoili and ‘The Afrikaans Grutenpap’ is a combination of  Beluga Lentils ( Black Lentils), Millet,  Barley, Sorghum (once prepared a spinach and onion puree is stirred through it before serving).

Founder, owner and head of the Le Quartier Français Family, Susan Huxter was on the field, or at the table as it were, and delivered these behind the scenes snaps for us.

margot - greg

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Haring, vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Haring, vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Cheese course cheese custard salted dried grapes and sticks  with fynbos and inspired by floris van dyk

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Baobab hangop, coconut sorbet, macadamia, salted honeybush caramel

Posted by: Le Quaf
Posted in: Chefs, Ingredients, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Cape Wine Auction 2015

The Cape Wine Auction 2014 was a smash success and raised a staggering R7.045 million for education in the winelands! The trustees ensure all funds raised through the auction lots are made available in their entirety for charitable purposes without offset or deduction. (See more about the trustees.)

Last year we interviewed one of the trustees, Mike Ratcliffe, in the lead up to the auction:

What is The Cape Wine Auction?
Our annual charity wine auction. An anxiously awaited must-attend social event. The glamorous epicenter of the wine-lands. A showcase. A gastronomic banquet celebrating all that is great about our wine industry. An event to unite the industry around a common cause. A global branding opportunity for South African wine. A memorable party. Read the rest of the interview here.

And now, without further ado… the sensational.. Môreson & Le Quartier Français Lot 2015

Moreson4

The Ultimate Party Weekend in Franschhoek

Forty two people will have the exclusive and private use of Le Quartier Français for a whole weekend of partying. The Friday night includes an exceptional dining experience at the world famous Tasting Room, with a specially prepared menu by Chef Margot Janse.

Moreson2

After breakfast at Le Quartier Français guests are invited to explore the charming Franschhoek village, and all transfers are included in Franschhoek.

On Saturday night the guests will take over the beautiful Môreson farm for a night of revelry, with food prepared by Chef Neil Jewell, a Bombay bar and a mixologist to ensure a night of decadent fun.

Moreson1

Guests will finish off this amazing weekend with a final breakfast at Le Quartier Français before leaving the beautiful Franschhoek valley. The winning bidder will take home a barrel of Môreson’s superb Mercator Premium Chardonnay.

Please note three dates will be put forward. The winning bidders will need to select their weekend from these three dates.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, Môreson, Neil Jewell, The Cape Wine Auction, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Margot Janse heads to RIJKS

Our Executive Chef Margot Janse was recently in Amsterdam to visit the newly opened RIJKS® restaurant at the world-renowned cultural icon, The Rijksmuseum.

Margot with the team!

Margot with the team!

And, even more excitingly, Margot will be back in January as a guest chef to create new dishes together with the team of top chefs led by the famed Joris Bijdendijk.

rijks restaurant

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week and the menu features dishes that celebrate Dutch produce. Also part of the concept is a sharing theme, and ‘to taste as much as possible of the colourful cuisine, cold and hot dishes are on the menu, which are served to be shared. As an equivalent of the multi-course dinner there is theRijks table, a table full of small dishes. Naturally one can also order à la carte.’

The General Director of Rijksmuseum, Wim Pijbes said: ‘The Rijksmuseum tells the story of the Netherlands. Influences from countries far and near can be seen here as well. We continue this trend at RIJKS®: quality, authenticity, uniqueness, translated to the cuisine, the chefs, the interior and the location. RIJKS® is the Rijksmuseum on your plate.”

See you in Amsterdam!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Margot Janse, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Nominees: Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for 2014

We are thrilled, proud and honoured that two restaurants of the Le Quartier Français family have been nominated for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for 2014!

Both The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine have both been shortlisted for the Top Ten restaurants in South Africa! The award ceremony takes places on 16 November 2014, in Thunder City, Cape Town. Grab tickets here.

A scene from last year's awards

A scene from last year's awards

That’s not all, Chef Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine is also cooking on the night, alongside  David Higgs of Five Hundred, George Jardine of Jordan Restaurant, PJ Vadas formerly of Camphors at Vergelegen, Bertus Basson of Overture, and Vanessa Marx of Dear Me.

We can’t wait for the night. Go team!



  

“My door is always open”

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical. Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.
What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.
Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!
When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.
After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.
I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.
When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.
This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.
What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”
She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.
She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!
After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.
Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.
Any special or funny memories from your time at Hurst you’d like to share?
A top memory is being the only one who got the consommé right on our first attempt in class – I knew at this point I had learnt from the best and was so happy I had not forgotten the basics that I had learnt at the beginning of my career.
One of my worst memories was when we had to remove the skin from a side of fish – I did mine and even went on to help my colleagues; however when I served the fish to my lecturer he found that the skin was not removed and I got marked down! I couldn’t believe it and that taught me I must check everything I do to make sure it is done perfectly. I felt like I had dropped my standards and this was not what I had learned during my time with Chef Margot.
Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.
I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.
By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical and a prize of a Kitchen Aid! Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.

aphiwe and margot

What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.

Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!

When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.

After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.

I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.

When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.

This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.

What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”

She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.

She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!

After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.

Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.

Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.

I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.

By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Margot Janse’s FOUR Magazine #ChefTakeover on Instagram

We just got something exciting in the mail… This Friday, Margot Janse takes the reins of FOUR Magazine’s Instagram for her #ChefTakeover!

margot

“Satisfy your foodie needs on FOUR Magazine’s Instagram all day this Friday and go behind the scenes as Margot Janse posts photos from Chef Alyn Williams’s annual culinary event, CHEFstock and her time in London.”

While you’re at it – follow us on Instagram too for updates from the heart of LQF.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, Travel, magazine,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The night that was: CHEFstock 2014

Last Tuesday night, Chef Margot Janse teamed up with Chef Alyn Williams for CHEFstock 2014 hosted at in his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant at The Westbury ‘to create an extraordinary one-night-only dining experience’.
Margot Janse said prior to the event:  “We’re cooking with sour figs, baobab, marula nuts and fynbos. We’re introducing Africa to London! I haven’t cooked with Chef Alyn Williams before—and I’m very excited to do so.”
Here is Margot and Alyn’s menu from the night as well as a couple of snapshots from the gourmet affair.

Last Tuesday night, Chef Margot Janse teamed up with Chef Alyn Williams for CHEFstock 2014 hosted at in his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant at The Westbury ‘to create an extraordinary one-night-only dining experience’.

Margot Janse said prior to the event:  “We’re cooking with sour figs, baobab, marula nuts and fynbos. We’re introducing Africa to London! I haven’t cooked with Chef Alyn Williams before—and I’m very excited to do so.”

Here is Margot and Alyn’s menu from the night as well as a couple of snapshots from the gourmet affair.

margot-janse

margot and alyn

dish 2

dish 3

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: London, Margot Janse, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Getting to know the LQF family: Margot Janse

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.
First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.
What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].
What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.
Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room
Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic
Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.
What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs
What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but also to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.

First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.

margot 1

What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].

What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.

Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room.

Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic

Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.

What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs

What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse,
comment-notesComments: 0


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