Cape Town, 8 December 2020

JAN the Journal Volume 6 arrives shortly before the birth of KLEIN JAN, South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s new culinary destination at Tswalu Kalahari. For the last two years, Jan Hendrik has been crafting this world class dining experience in one of South Africa’s remotest regions where he will draw, as always, from his heritage while embarking on an exciting, new epicurean voyage of discovery.

Following Volume 5, a largely French-inspired edition of the Journal, Volume 6 embraces the culture and cuisine of Jan Hendrik’s home country like no other Journal before it. “I knew from the moment we set out to create Volume 6 that KLEIN JAN would be the beating heart of this book,” he says. “Without a doubt, KLEIN JAN has been my most ambitious project to date. Not only would I be taking on a legacy greater than I could ever have imagined possible, but I would also be immersing myself in a world of endless culinary potential.” Indeed, for the first time since JAN the Journal launched 3 years ago, we are offered a glimpse into the inspiration and design of KLEIN JAN, which has never before been made public.

Beyond KLEIN JAN, Volume 6 draws inspiration from the magic and myth of the African continent — starting with a case for the Great South African Road Trip (the book literally journeys from the Karoo to the Kalahari), later visiting an exotic date farm on the Namibian border and the local artisans of the region. The book even pays a visit to the past by reviving the legend of the Lost City of the Kalahari, and by spinning a yarn about the discovery of a collection of innovative culinary artefacts left behind by an ancient civilisation. But amidst the romance, the book also investigates important topics such as honey production in South Africa, the country’s proud Muscadel heritage, and even the realities of living off the grid.

As always, the Journal is packed with recipes, which in this edition, approach South Africa’s heritage with great gusto. Aiming to revive our taste for the nostalgic cuisine of our past, Volume 6 offers a collection of forgotten dishes, padkos classics and bazaar favourites. But in true Journal fashion, Volume 6 is not without its quirks, like finding a new purpose for the bobotie, turning the desert sauce into a work of modern art, and Corn Flakes into haute cuisine!

Considering the challenges of the year 2020, especially in the global restaurant and hospitality industry, it is perhaps not surprising that JAN the Journal Volume 6 would at least linger on a theme of loss, but at no point does the book take a morbid turn. Instead, it celebrates the things we have, reminds us to look for the beauty in life, and encourages us never to lose our sense of adventure — whether embarking on a road trip or simply mastering a new skill in the kitchen.