Twenty years at the Tasting Room

Dutch-born Margot Janse has reached a magnificent milestone of twenty years in the culinary arts and with numerous accolades under her belt.

As Executive chef of the award-winning restaurant, The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, Margot has triumphed with many national and international awards including; being the first female chef to be honoured with a Relais & Châteaux Grande Chef award in Africa in 2007, as well as The Tasting Room being featured in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Best Restaurants Awards list for ten years.

With a true belief that food is constantly evolving, her dishes always manage to evoke an unforgettable element of surprise and nostalgia about them. When commenting on her food she states that, “I don’t like bland food.I don’t like safe food. And this more than anything else sums up my food and life philosophies. Also, I have no signature dish, South Africa is my signature.” No doubt it is this attitude that has led to her remarkable reign in the fine-dining world.

It was at the age of 23 when Margot’s obvious talents led her to the kitchen and from there on she has been on a quest for fine-food discovery. This journey has helped her shaped a signature style that uses African-inspired cuisine at its base, but with a playful and captivating edge that tell stories to the hearts and minds of diners.

“I find it difficult to put my style in a box,” she explains. “It is constantly evolving, because I allow myself the room to be creative and experiment with new things. I love textures and balance, because each dish has to say something. That’s why I’m extremely excited to start experimenting with new culinary projects for the Leeu Collection.”

With a daring yet quietly confident approach to her cooking, and a belief that creating exceptional and engaging food is key to innovation, we hope that Margot continues to pour out fabulous Michelin star food for another twenty years to come.

Find out more about the culinary career of Margot