Margot Janse: Chefs need to find their own food language

In this interview award-winning chef Margot Janse tells us about the origin of food and how it plays a large role in the dishes she creates.

Part of the event

Margot Janse is the executive chef at the award-winning Relais & Châteaux Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek. In this exclusive interview she tells us how important it is that each dish she creates has something to say.

“I’m influenced by people I cook with and people I cook for," says the chef. This influence has led her to find her own language when it comes to working with food.

My food language is made up of all my previous experiences, from people to ingredients and flavours, says Janse.

Janse explains that for her it is extremely important not only to think of which flavours work well together but also to ask herself why she is placing certain ingredients and flavours together on a plate.

For me, a lot has to do with origin; the origin of an animal, what the animal did when it was alive, what it ate and where it grew up. What is happening on my plate has to make sense and reveal these origins, says Janse.

The culinary master further tells us about cooking with indigenous South African flavours to give restaurant-goers a sense of local culture: “Africa is beauty; Africa is people; but Africa is also food and flavours”, she adds.

Janse will be speaking at Design Indaba Conference 2014. 

Watch the Talk with Margot Janse , David Higgs