Five Years of Jan the Journal

Volume 9 Goes Back to the Journal’s Roots

Midway through 2018, Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen turned his passion for publishing into one of South Africa’s most beautiful and informative publications. The goal was simple: to honour the life behind the food we eat by capturing stories that are unique, engaging and enlightening. In so doing, JAN the Journal has become an invaluable culinary resource – and source of inspiration – that chronicles Jan Hendrik’s wide-ranging experiences and interests through an array of travelogues, conversations, lifestyle stories, memoirs and even fashion editorials. The result is a collectable series of coffee table books, each filled with over 50 recipes inspired by the stories and destinations in each volume.

“Ever since publishing my first cookbook (JAN, the French Affair), my aim was always to celebrate the printed medium,” says Jan Hendrik of his decision to launch a biannual print publication during a time when the format had become all but extinct. “I get a lot of inspiration from books. There’s a timelessness to them. It’s like a time capsule of the way we were at that point in time. Even when we change and our passions move on, we can always look back and rediscover our old joys with a fresh perspective.”

Setting out to create Volume 9, Jan Hendrik admits to feeling slightly overwhelmed at first. “This is our fifth year of publication, and that comes with a certain weight,” he says, which has led him and his team to revisit the Journal’s roots. In a stunning travel section, Jan Hendrik invites us into his home in Nice and to a quiet JAN Garden for a winter’s lunch. We also meet a wonderful array of individuals all across the city, including an ancient grain baker, a food writer specialising in Niçoise cuisine, and even a wand maker.

Included in Volume 9 is a special travel guide supplement – perfect for slipping into your handbag or backpack – filled with Jan Hendrik’s personal recommendations of places to visit in the city of Nice.

And for the first time since Volume 1, the début issue, Jan Hendrik takes us back to Apricale for an escape into the Italian countryside and a picnic in the hills surrounding the village that stole his heart all those many years ago when he first visited Apricale.

In the balance between the cityscapes of Nice and the raw, earthy charm of Apricale, nature became central to the book. Volume 9 explores gardens and the roles they play in our lives – whether as a source of growing food or simply as places of pure pleasure – and in a highly informative wellness article, the Knysna forests create a beautiful respite from the stresses of our day-to-day existence.

As with every issue, this Journal explores the big questions around our relationship with food and our heritage, but strips it of excess to reveal the raw beauty of the world around us. Volume 9 is a visual feast of the things Jan Hendrik holds most dear, and that spark true joy, as they are truly lasting.

For more information – or to enquire about bulk orders – get in touch with us at [email protected]