Cape Town - A South African restaurant in the south of France has been awarded a Michelin star.
Michelin announced its French 2016 list in Paris on Monday, and JAN, as the restaurant is named, got its first star.
A press release says this makes owner and proprietor Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen the first South African to receive this accolade in Asia and Europe.
Guide Michelin awards - the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry - stand for consistency and excellence in the food and service industry.
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen and Pascal Szafranski opened JAN in Nice in 2013 and received their first mention in the Michelin Guide months after opening.
Subsequent accolades include a spot on a list of the World’s 15 Best Restaurants (as curated by Condé Nast Traveler), as well as recommendations by the New York Times and Gault et Millau restaurant guide, the press release says.
A 28-seater fine-dining restaurant in the up-and-coming bohemian district of Nice Port, JAN is a celebration of South African hospitality and serves honest food inspired by local produce from the markets of Nice.
Originally from Middelburg, Van der Westhuizen studied culinary arts and applied design in Stellenbosch, after which he worked for food publications both locally and abroad. It is during this time that he happened upon the concept of adapting and serving South African favourites like melktert and biltong to audiences in Europe.
Van der Westhuizen was recently joined by South African chefs Kevin Grobler and Rutger Eysvogel, who now form part of the international award-winning team at JAN.
He has published a recipe book, The French Affair, which received the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the Best French Cuisine Cookbook in the South African category, and is now publishing JAN – A Breath of French Air.
The book will will be launched in South Africa in March and in the UK in April.
IOL, adapted from a press release