The evocative issue

In taking stock of our journey, it is so humbling to realise that JAN the Journal took its first steps into the world four years ago, and the journey is far from over.

After every issue, our tribe grew, informing what we do – and how we do it – with every new step. As such, the Journal has changed a great deal, just as you have, but what brings us together is our shared curiosity, and in that spirit, we have become a tribe. This is what brings Volume 8 together: that by going out and listening to the conversations around food now, we are capturing what is essentially your conversation as much as it is ours.

Looking back over the last four years, it’s incredible to think that my lifelong dream of one day running a publication of my own has come true – and that it has struck a chord. Volume 1 seems like a lifetime ago, and the Journal has changed quite a lot since then, but at the core, its spirit has remained unchanged. While the initial idea had been to publish a magazine, the Journal ended up being much more than that. Every issue is over 300 pages long, features more than 50 recipes, and boasts a thought-provoking and entertaining array of stories that captures the zeitgeist around food and the people behind it in a way that is personal and authentic to my team and me, but also to South Africans at large.

I’ve always believed that what makes the Journal so special is that we allow ourselves a lot of freedom. Every page of local and international content is original – produced in-house – and takes you on a personal journey of discovery through the world of food as we experience it. In Volume 8, I share a personal conversation I had with world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura, one of my idols, and visit Chanel’s perfumery in Grasse during a jasmine harvest. But this edition also takes on some of the bigger topics around food, such as our relationship with eating, and imagines a world without plastic. Through a series of beautiful fashion shoots, the book also explores the joys of gelato and looks at fashion’s survivalist movement, which is a way of life at Klein JAN. And in a leisurely travelogue section, Journal 8 heads to Mozambique to visit an exotic, completely self-sustaining community on the Nhamabwue peninsula.

We also printed Volume 8 on a new, coated and compressed paper stock that makes the photography pop like never before – and that has resulted in a sleeker, sexier Journal without cutting back on any of our usual timeless, evocative content – a truly beautiful, thrilling issue.

We are only as good as our last plate, our last course, our last volume, and our last venture. But that urge to create is arguably the greatest of human impulses – and a gift that we must cherish – which is why I am so thrilled to have launched the JAN Innovation Academy this year, prior to the launch of Volume 8. With every new venture I have undertaken, my team and I learnt a great deal, and having a platform to share those insights with you, and to work through some of the most pressing issues today in a hands-on way, will only strengthen our tribe.

Now more than ever, I am reminded that on this journey of ours, change is the only constant. To my tribe, the Journal is our roadmap filled with the discoveries we made together. My greatest wish is that Volume 8 fills you with the inspiration you need to venture into new, uncharted territory, and that you open yourself up to new experiences.