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!
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?
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 would 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!