Interview With Margot Janse

I was inspired when listening to Margot Janse talk about food and life last week Saturday at the Eat Out Conference. She says she is Dutch by birth and South African by choice and this really resonates with me. Margot is all about integrity and honesty and cooks what is available here and now (her own words). Margot is not only an exceptional chef, which has been emphasized by her winning the Eat Out Top Chef of the Year award for 2012, she is also involved in feeding the community and at present her restaurant feeds 850 school children every day!

Margot Janse
Margot Janse

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My brother, Herbert. He has been a mentor and real big brother ever since I can remember.

What started you on the path of cooking?
It evolved from a serious interest into an obsession. I have always been curious about food and trying new things. It was in Johannesburg that I decided it had to be done. I wanted to work in a professional kitchen and learn all I could.

Which three ingredients could you not live without?
Salt, lemon and butter

Which of your kitchen tools would you take with you anywhere and everywhere?

My Knives

Do you have any pet peeves in the kitchen?
Untidiness and dishonesty

Which meal is your all time favourite?
I loved the experience of dining at El Bulli 6 years ago. I can’t describe it as a meal- it was a culinary experience. Fun, exciting, entertaining, amazing, one of a kind.

Which restaurant could you visit over and over again?
D.O.M in Sao Paolo

If you could only have one recipe book, which one would it be?
That’s impossible to choose. I have many.

If you could work alongside one chef for a day who would that be?
Alex Atala. I find his beliefs and his food very inspiring.

Which ingredient will you not eat or cook with?
Nutmeg, overkill as a child!

What is on top of your bucket list?
To take a year out and travel the world with my family.

What is your food philosophy?
Highlighting our indigenous produce with integrity. Cooking with pure flavours and not overcomplicating dishes.

Any parting words for the readers?
Stop reading- Start cooking!

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32 thoughts on “Interview With Margot Janse

  1. Nice interview Tandy…enjoyed reading it 🙂
    Have a great week!
    Juliana sharing the blog ♥ Browned Butter Chocolate Chips CookiesMy Profile

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    1. thank you Juliana, and I hope you have a good week as well!

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  2. I am impressed that children could be fed a healthy lunch.. instead of bagged stale sandwiches. We need more programs like that!
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen sharing the blog ♥ A Smidgen of Glad TidingsMy Profile

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    1. Feeding our poor is an amazing feeling – these children often only get one meal a day Barbara 🙂

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  3. Great interview post!
    yummychunklet sharing the blog ♥ No TwD for me! Give me Oatmeal Banana Pancakes instead.My Profile

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    1. thank you Yummychunklet 🙂

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  4. Very nice interview, I like to read answers of people who inspire me.

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    1. Thank you Marta, Margot is very inspiring 🙂

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  5. She sounds like a remarkable lady with true integrity. Thanks for sharing the interview.
    bam’s Kitchen sharing the blog ♥ Shake and Bake Veggie Snack StacksMy Profile

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    1. I so agree! and its my pleasure 🙂

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  6. Margot is realy an amazing and inspiring person! Have you ever eaten at her restaurant? I had the privilidge a couple of years ago and it was one of my experiences that I will treasure forever! Enjoy your time in Jhb!
    Zirkie sharing the blog ♥ In my kitchen in December 2012My Profile

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    1. I am hoping we get to eat there this December as I am so impressed by her passion 🙂

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  7. What a fantastic person! I wonder what she mean when she talk about dishonesty in the kitchen.

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    1. I think some people say they have done something when they haven’t – or that they have done something when they have!

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  8. I always enjoy your interviews—keep ’em coming! =) Hope you had a great weekend, Tandy!!
    The squishy monster sharing the blog ♥ In Recent NewsMy Profile

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    1. Thanks Squishy, I had a super time away 🙂

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  9. Safe travels Tandy! Thanks for another great interview.
    Tammy sharing the blog ♥ Hen KeepersMy Profile

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    1. Thank you Tammy, and its my pleasure 🙂

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    2. Thank you Tammy, I am home and trying to catch up 🙂

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  10. Wow, Tandy: you get some great contributors to your interviews! What a refreshing attitude from a woman who clearly walks the walk a well as talking the talk. I really enjoyed this interview – thank you to you both!
    Kate Shrewsday sharing the blog ♥ Heads and shoulders, verse and proseMy Profile

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    1. I have been very lucky to meet some amazing chefs 🙂

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  11. Hope you’re having a great time in Johannesburg, Tandy. I enjoyed reading the interview. You ask all the right questions. I also hate an untidy kitchen, that’s why I’m sitting in the bedroom at the moment, whilst hubby is working on the rebuild. 🙂
    adinparadise sharing the blog ♥ Illustrators on WordPress.comMy Profile

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    1. I’m sitting with a beautiful baby on my lap at present 🙂 I would be very far from the renovations as well AD!

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  12. Wow 850 kids a day – that is incredible! Margot sounds like a remarkable lady.
    🙂 Mandy
    Mandy – The Complete Cook Book sharing the blog ♥ We have twins, possibly triplets, 2 flies,some fruit plus a bonsaiMy Profile

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    1. I think it is very remarkable what she is achieving 🙂

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  13. I love reading other peoples answers to these questions 🙂
    cityhippyfarmgirl sharing the blog ♥ in my kitchen this week…My Profile

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    1. Me too! I’m always surprised by what I learn 🙂

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  14. I heard so much about Margot when we were in South Africa! I wish we could have had time to meet her 🙂 But this is great Tandy and I feel like we did here.
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ The Langham, Hong KongMy Profile

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    1. Then I consider it a job well done! She is so humble Lorraine 🙂

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  15. I’ve been lucky enough to eat her food, some years back. I am a huge fan. Thanks for the super interview. See you later 🙂

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    1. I am so glad I spent time with you! And Margot is amazing 🙂

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