When my local food hero Jan Hendrik Van Der Westhuizen advertised his Food Journal I didn’t  hesitate for a second…. I had to have a copy!

Real value

For the price of about 3 imported mags you get a bumper 255 plus pages…. some are filled with magnificent photos and others with fabulous “foodie and lifestyle” content! The bonus is that are no pages of adverts…. yes there are advertorials, but they are subtle, relevant, informative and fit the elegance of the journal.

Jan takes you through a 9 course menu…. you literally feel as if you are participating in the feast.

Then there are wonderful stories

about ingredients and passionate producers in South Africa, France and North West Italy.

……. and wonderful recipes.

The recipes are not all Michelin Star dishes…. in fact they literally range from “how to boil an egg” to more complex dishes that we can all make without having to buy dry ice or a special piece of kitchen equipment!!

The recipe that excites me most is the Meringue filled with tapioca and berries that I enjoyed when we had a meal at his Michelin Star Restaurant JAN in Nice last year and again at a function hosted by him in the Cape. I have dreamt about replicating this dish and now I at least have the recipe!

Some recipes brought a tinge of nostalgia.

The biltong ‘lamingtons’ reminded me of cocktail parties and teas on the Karroo farm and the steamed orange pudding took me to my Granny’s table. I did not have the time for the 3-4 hours steaming, but it motivated me to make a virtually identical recipe,  Jamie Oliver’s Marmalade Cake!

JAN’s steamed pudding in the Journal motivated me to make Jamie Oliver’s Marmalade Cake

Homage to people, producers and ingredients

It’s not all about Jan, he pays homage to interesting people in the food industry and those whose products have inspired him. He takes us through farmlands, to the coast, to downtown Jozi and to his favourite hilltop village Apricale, in Italy.


A warm fire, a happy cat, a glass of vino and a good read…. the ultimate luxury !

I have taken a few weeks to “digest” my copy of the Journal and I assure you, it will move between my bedside, patio and fireside for sometime still. This read needs time.

And once the pages are dog-eared, food and drink stained I will be ready for the next copy!

Copies are available from Woolworths (South Africa) or order online https://janthejournal.com