A Look at One of Jan Franschhoek’s Most Iconic Dishes
Within two days after opening the bookings for JAN Franschhoek, Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s latest dining experience in the Franschhoek Winelands, it was sold out for the next four months, to the disappointment of many. The reaction has been incredibly humbling. Veepos, the old heritage building that has guarded these lavender-scented fields for almost two centuries, has always loved company, which became evident during the production of JAN RSVP, Jan Hendrik’s latest TV show.
Undoubtedly, the old lady is central to the charm of JAN Franschhoek, but without the love and care that has gone into La Motte Wine Estate’s restoration and upkeep of her over the last few decades, and the JAN team’s culinary magic, she would not have had this glorious revival.
This beautiful marriage between JAN and La Motte is unforgettably captured in the toast consommé with cold butter and mosbolletjie dish, which makes up the bread course of the experience, a dish that is completed with a pairing of La Motte’s 2020 Chardonnay.
HONOURING THE PAST
When asked to list the most iconic South African dishes, the milk tart, bobotie, samosas and sosaties are highly likely to rank amongst the top five. But no list would be complete without the widely adored mosbolletjie – a JAN icon since the opening of the restaurant in Nice – and a staple of the global JAN experience. For those who have never had the pleasure, a mosbolletjie is essentially a brioche that, in the rarer, more traditional method, uses grape must instead of yeast as the rising agent, and is lightly spiced with aniseed.
Perhaps the most decadent way to enjoy a mosbolletjie is fresh out of the oven, as it is served at JAN Franschhoek, topped with a generous slathering of homemade butter. In honour of the whispering lavender fields surrounding the Veepos building, the chefs prepare fresh lavender butter daily to serve with the mosbolletjie course – creating a conversation between the dish and its surroundings.
CHARDONNAY LIKE BUTTER
La Motte’s 2020 Chardonnay is nothing short of an event. Following a dry but relatively cold 2019, the flavour development of the 2020 harvest was second to none. Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche’s impressions drew attention to the wine’s unique, light straw colour, with “fruity nectarine and citrus blossom on the nose, with hints of cashew nut and baked bread as the only evidence of wood maturation,” the perfect match for a freshly baked mosbolletjie with subtle hints of spice that don’t engage in a tug of war with the fruit forward notes of the wine. The butter that finishes off this delectable, enriched bread only amplifies the buttery notes of the Chardonnay.