Wanted's end-of-year bash was held in Cape Town and Jan Hendrik's Innovation Studio.
Wanted's end-of-year bash was held in Cape Town and Jan Hendrik's Innovation Studio.
Image: Jurgen’s Photography

At Wanted, we know how to throw an end-of-year dinner that far outstrips the usual. Think glinting candlelight, views of the perfect Cape summer sky, table settings worthy of the Romanovs — and, of course, food prepared by our favourite Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

Such was the evening that Wanted’s business manager Yvonne Shaff and editor Sarah Buitendach curated for clients in the Mother City last week.

Decked out in the season’s glitziest garb and anticipating a night to remember, the small, smart, and exclusive crowd settled down for one of chef Jan Hendrik’s stellar and utterly imaginative dinners.

Were we expecting a first course of white beans, apple, and vegetables served with haddock and camel milk? No. Was it a knockout? Yes! Jan Hendrik discovered this surprising local milk while prepping his new Klein Jan restaurant at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, which opens next year. This is typical of his cooking style — embracing local food heritage and ingredients, conjuring up exciting dishes, and then catapulting them onto the world culinary scene.

We also feasted on sterling stuffed whole quail, Franschhoek trout in a rooibos broth and, just when we thought the magic was done, we were ushered into the star chef’s library for a baroque melange of French cheeses and local preserve. The meal ended with a watermelon granita and fruitcake; the latter courtesy of Jan Hendrik’s mum. You’ll find her recipe for it on janhendrickblog.com, but be quick — you’ve got just enough time to create some of your own Jan festive cheer if you bake now.

LOOK | Inside Wanted's end-of-year bash:

Goodie bags in hand — packed with beautiful Bulgari fragrances, Quoin Rock MCC and chef Jan Hendrik’s book Jan the Journal — we called it a night and headed home to reminisce over the luxury that was the evening, and a brilliant year, no less.

Thank you to our loyal clients and readers for making it a year to remember — without you, none of this would be possible. Here’s to 2020 — we will continue to give you thoughtful, smart reads alongside life’s finer luxuries.

And remember to stay in the loop by reading Wanted Online and following us on our social-media pages.

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