JHP Gourmet Guide 2016/2017

JHP Gourmet Guide

The JHP Gourmet Guide 2016/2017 is a coffee table book showcasing Jenny Handley’s top South African restaurants, their chefs and recipes. I got the impression that this was to equate to the Michelin guide for restaurants. The book covers 100 restaurants in South Africa. It also includes a plating rating where 1 plate is for excellent cuisine and 2 plates signifies exceptional destination dining.

JHP Gourmet Guide 2016/2017
JHP Gourmet Guide 2016/2017
Chapters divided into:
  • Quickfinder: Restaurants which are listed mostly alphabetical, but take care as The Restaurant at Waterkloof which I would expect to be listed under W is under R
  • Quickfinder: Recipes, listed alphabetically under the name of the dish so unless you know what you are looking for this is not very helpful

The Restaurant information includes addresses and contact details as well as a photograph of the place, the chef in some cases and one of the dishes. I’ve reviewed the following restaurants that feature in the book:

Recipes that caught my eye:

The book includes over 60 signature recipes and these are the ones I thought would be worth making.

  • Risotto Nero (p26)
  • Fennel chutney (p56)
  • Buchu ice cream (p87)
  • Olive oil poached trout (p89)
  • Stuffed and rolled rabbit ballotine (p94)
  • Plate of shitake (p106)
  • Ravioli of salmon and freshwater prawns (p127)
  • Quail (p132)
  • Avocado butter (p154)
  • Salsiccia ragusana (p235)
  • Cherry cake with cherry ice cream (p244)
What I made:

I made the olive oil poached trout which was really good and a method I will try again. The recipe was not brilliantly written out and it would take more than a novice cook to get it right. From the colour you can see I slightly overcooked the trout.

Olive Oil Poached Trout
Olive Oil Poached Trout
My verdict:

Personally I would not buy this guide. I feel that this concept would be better suited to how Via Michelin present their restaurants. But given that I have it I am inspired to try a few new restaurants. I am not sure how the plate rating was worked out but I am quite sure that it is very personal and subjective. It is also very difficult to work out the recipe name when it’s on the photograph. The photographs are not excellent which I feel detracts from the book itself.

Publishing information:

Published in 2016 by MapStudio™ and sponsored by Tattinger and Rio Largo

ISBN: 9781770268487

Disclosure: I was sent the book to review by MapStudio™. I was not required to write a positive review. I was also provided a copy to give away. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime November 30:

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23 thoughts on “JHP Gourmet Guide 2016/2017

  1. I totally agree with your review – the title is misleading and I feel utterly ripped off. I thought it would be the food version of the Platter’s wine Guide. Who is Jenny Hadley – why do so few chefs know her?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not sure who she is. My biggest surprise is that Waterkloof did not even get one plate, and they are number 3 according to Eat Out and Greg the chef won their chef of the year award.

  2. Thanks for your honest opinion! I really don’t like recipes that are not written for the novice, I need specifics! And if the photo’s aren’t good, count me out! I need to see what my final goal should be.

  3. How disappointing! It sounded so promising. Nothing frustrates me more than when I buy a cookbook and I can’t replicate the recipes. I don’t have time to keep trying the recipe to see if I can get it right. If it doesn’t work the first time, the book goes in the bin.

  4. I have a book with recipes from top local restaurants and it’s pretty inspiring. Interesting that this guide is combined with reviews and info about places to eat. Good on you for your honesty in your review!

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