AN INTERVIEW WITH JAN HEAD CHEF SCOTT ARMSTRONG
As Restaurant JAN celebrates a decade in Nice’s Old Port district, it also embarks on a series of new updates in 2023. With the restaurant enjoying a refreshed look and an exciting new lunch seating and menu selection we decided to catch up with Head Chef Scott Armstrong to learn more about JAN’s direction in the new year.
HOW HAS THE INTRODUCTION OF THE LUNCH SEATING CHANGED THINGS AT THE RESTAURANT?
Our new lunch seating essentially means that we have less covers (tables) now but we offer two services, so now we can give each table more attention and focus on the details of each and every plate. The mood in the restaurant is amazing and the renovations have brought out new and exciting parts of us – we are all excited to be a part of it!
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST INSPIRATIONS BEHIND THE MENU AT JAN?
Most of the inspiration comes from the surrounding area and from Chef Jan’s creative knowledge. The challenge we have in the kitchen is making sure we accurately implement the vision in the dish!
HOW DOES THE CHANGE OF SEASON AFFECT THE MENU/OFFERING AT JAN?
Depending on the seasonal produce, each fresh ingredient has a different cooking technique so we have to adapt the way we prepare things. We have a base concept to the menu and once the season changes a plate could look a lot different to the previous few months, it’s incredible to see and it challenges us to try new techniques
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISH ON THE MENU AND WHY?
It would have to be the meringue currently, it was one of my favourite dishes to make and it has evolved so much since my time here, we always find ways to improve on it. It never looks perfect to me and whenever I do it I want it to be piped even more perfectly!
WHICH PRODUCE IS YOUR FAVOURITE TO WORK WITH?
I wouldn’t think of an ingredient but more of a supplier. My favourite supplier would be Steve, our local fisherman who stands at the port every morning with his morning catch. Our first course is dedicated to this as we can have a different kind of fish everyday. My favourite fish would be the thonine which is essentially a small tuna with its dark red skin and very delicate meat. Delicious!
HOW IS THE RESTURAUNT PRIORITISING SUSTAINABILITY IN 2023?
From the waste management side we are recycling and making sure bottles, cartons, plastic and compost are separated and placed in the right bins at the end of the day. Compost is collected during the day and we have a garden where someone can use it to feed the soil.
We have identified where our biggest use of single-use plastic was and changed it to reusable containers and piping bags and worst case we will use recyclable materials instead of single-use. We also make sure that we support local business owners and suppliers as much as possible!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB AT JAN?
We work with some incredibly talented and professional people and JAN brings out the best in us and what we do. It’s amazing to learn from each other and our local suppliers and producers.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SETS JAN APART FROM OTHER RESTAURANTS?
JAN feels like a family. We all have each other’s back and are willing to extend a helping hand in whatever situation that comes up. It’s always a good ambience with the staff and it’s a great feeling to be surrounded by them while we create something special.