Text by: 忠妍 Audio by: 小白 Photo by: Jan &忠妍
There is a bistro-style restaurant in Nice, hiding among old buildings and small streets. You’ll get addicted to it the very moment when you enter the restaurant.
You can see the fermentation process of a cake in a glass cage on every table. The waiter told us that it’s a typical cake of South Africa. It will be sent to the kitchen during our meal and be served on the table in the midway.
The executive chef of this restaurant is a gentleman with wonderful Cockney accent. Let me show you his kitchen!
Excuse-me of my Frenglish 😝
Y: So right now I’m in a kitchen of a restaurant in Nice. And just beside me is the executive chef of this restaurant…
J: My name is Jan, hello! And I’m going to head you over to Kevin, who is the head chef, chef de cuisine.
K: Hi, my name is Kevin, I’m chef of Jan.
J: What do you do here Kevin?
J: What are you preparing tonight?
J: That’s charming. Very nice!
Y: And we just talk in English cuz our chefs come from South Africa, right?
J: Yes! We’re from Cape Town. We move to Nice to come and do a little bit South Africa influence among the French cuisine, and there’s lots happening among Afrirican cuisine at the moment. And It’s a very exciting time for us at a restaurant.
Y: And before you have opened restaurants in South Africa or you have your studies in Gastronomy?
J: This is actually my first restaurant. Before I was working in restaurants, and also magazines, in media, food media.
J: But the rest of the team has also worked in very good restaurants in South Africa.
Y: So why did you choose to restart your adventure in gastronomy in Nice?
J: I worked in Paris before, and I worked on boats in Monaco, so I think Nice would be quite close. And there was opening for something different in Nice, so that’s why we decided to come here.
Y: And I have a little question about when and how did you start your love in the cuisine?
J: There’s a restaurant in South Africa called Spird. As child we were eating burgers and it was just inspirational for me.
Y: And the decoration of your restaurant is really nice. I love it! And I’ve heard that it’s you who designed the restaurant. Can you tell us a little bit about your ideas and the style that you expected?
J: Yes, of course. It’s dark blue walls; it’s actually petrol blue walls. It’s a little bit like sitting in your grandma’s dining room, with a modern twist. Classic, white table clothes. Yeah it’s a fine dining experience, with a little bit relax atmosphere.
Y: Really good! And I’ve noticed that there are some Asian characteristics in your plates like miso, and other things like tempura. So did you ever travelled there or are you interested in Asian culture?
J: I think that’s a world trend currently. That’s why we cooperate that in the menu. And the flavor of umami is very popular. So that works very well with our style of food. So yes of course we love eastern and that kind of flavors!
Y: Ok. Did you ever think about opening a restaurant in China, like Hong Kong, Shanghai, or other cities?
J: If the investors would come along, we will be very happy to do that, yes.
Y: For the moment I’m very glad to come into a kitchen. And I also have a little question with our chef Kevin. I’ve noticed that you have a menu for this month, that’s January 2016. So do you have a menu for every month and how did you prepare for each menu?
K: We change two dishes every week so every two weeks we have new dishes on the menu, pretty much. And it’s usually myself and the other members set around the table, talk about it and come up with new ideas.
Y: And where come from your inspiration for the carte (menu)?
K: A lot of them come from books we look through or TV shows or the chefs that we follow.
Y: Ok, thank you so much!
So as the time is a little bit limited, we have to stop our talk today. But if you have some questions, please contact me! See you next time! Bye.
Also on LiZhi FM: 荔枝电台同步直播哟~