December 6, 2021

Restaurant Klein JAN wins La Liste ‘World Hidden Gem’ award

South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen has another accolade to add to his accomplished career.

Klein JAN, his restaurant located in Tswalu Kalahari, one of South Africa’s most exclusive private game reserves, won the prestigious World Hidden Gem title at the recent La Liste 2022 Awards in Paris.

In an Instagram post, he wrote: “So proud to have just won World Hidden Gem at the @laliste1000 awards in Paris. Congrats, team @restaurantkleinjan. Few people realise the sacrifice and work it takes to run a world-class establishment in the middle of nowhere in the Kalahari but we’ve done well so far!”

Although Restaurant Klein JAN was only launched this year, the team have also been honoured by the Tourism and Hospitality Counsel of South Africa at the 3rd annual Luxe Restaurant Awards in three categories: Culinary Pioneer, Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year.

According to the website creating Restaurant Klein JAN has been Chef Jan’s great “homecoming project”. It says: “Growing up on a farm in South Africa’s rural Mpumalanga province, he felt an instant connection to the vastness of the Kalahari and knew that the time had come to return the spirit of JAN – his Michelin-star restaurant in Nice – to home soil.

“The Kalahari felt like a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities. The region’s underexplored ingredients were the perfect inspiration to open a new restaurant and bring fine dining home – giving the food from the Kalahari the global stage it deserves.”

The restaurant offers an eight-course tasting menu and wine pairing at R2500 per person.

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