JAN Gift Guide


It’s true what they say, that it’s better to give than to receive. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when someone gives me something I know has personal significance and that means something to both of us, but nothing beats seeing that look on someone’s face when you give them something really special. Yes, I’m a sucker for gifting, and ever since launching the JAN Online shop just over two years ago, and like visiting the marchés de noël all over France, curating a selection of gifts from my collection has become one of my favourite things to do this time of year. These are my special picks for this festive season!


On a recent visit to Waltham Place in the UK, I was awestruck by the natural beauty of their biodynamic gardens, but the thing that haunted me was their garden tools. I found them so beautiful that they inspired me to take up gardening again! Made of solid beechwood and copper, they truly are forged to last, and I can’t wait for the copper on my set to start oxidising and get a character of their own.


I’ve held a special in my heart for the art of Delft and Toile for as long as I can remember. On a recent visit to De Grendel Wine Estate, I discovered something truly special; a collection of oyster shells that have been découpaged in Toile and Delft designs and refined with a delicate gold-painted rim. You can use these for anything from serving vessels to salt-and-pepper bowls, but I couldn’t resist the Christmas decorations done in the same style. The Ostentatious Oyster project has also re-employed staff that had lost their jobs during the pandemic.


I’ve developed a formula with Fijn Botanicals, who helped create my JAN Handwash and Hand Sanitiser, that is just the ultimate aromatherapeutic treat at the end of a long day to bring you back in touch with your senses. What I love about this mix is that it feels like being enveloped in a lemony cream dessert that refreshes and soothes at the same time. Comfort doesn’t get better than this.


Without being biased, my cookware is the best I’ve ever worked with. It’s got the most even heat distribution and with its timeless design, looks just great in any kitchen. I remember coming back to South Africa from France one day and thinking, why are the only names you see on cookware ranges in South Africa those of foreign chefs? Well, that has finally changed, and I didn’t have to think twice about putting my name on this range.


Across Europe, whether it’s a brasserie, bistrot or haute cuisine establishment, so many restaurants brand their own crockery. I’ve always loved that, and have built up a small collection of crockery from restaurants I admire. Creating my personal range of gold-rimmed crockery was a big moment for me, and continues to be something I like to share with others. After all, my story belongs to all South Africans.


In my restaurants, I tend to go for Baccarat, Zalto and Riedel in the glassware department, but when I invite friends over to my place for dinner, I like to bring out my more casual JAN Glassware, which is no less elegant, but made for a night of passionate conversation and great company.


Few things impact the atmosphere of a room more than candles. By night, it adds a touch of warmth and cosiness. By day – when you use the scented variety – it adds a touch of sophistication that brings additional character to a room. Every JAN candle’s scent has been carefully formulated to entice the senses. Of course, their natural fragrances are also the perfect appetiser.


My three cookbooks and ten Journals are more than just volumes filled with recipes. They capture my passions – which usually revolve around food – from the last ten years. Still, nothing compares to the feeling of holding a published work in your hand, especially when its every intention is to inspire you to living the best life you possibly can.


Wine first bewitched me when I lived in Stellenbosch. As a chef, food and wine become almost inseparable. I’ve worked with a couple of winemakers in the past to create what I aspired to be the ultimate JAN Wine, and what I came to realise was that if I was going to put my name on a wine, it was going to be made to enjoy! With every vintage, I grow fonder of JAN Wine, which has become my go-to wine for any festivity.


No JAN gift guide would be complete without a collection of antiques, most of which I’ve sourced from the brocante markets and shops in and around Nice. They refresh weekly and are often sold out before we’ve even told anyone they’re there, so look out for new additions every Friday!