Margot's appetite for change spurs synergy and growth

10 June 2015 - 10:27 By Eugene Yiga

It's been two decades since Margot Janse joined the culinary team at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek. She won Eat Out's Chef of the Year award in 2012, while The Tasting Room ranked as the country's third-best restaurant last year.Last week it came 88th in the World's 100 Best Restaurants awards. This was its 11th year on the list."The evolution Le Quartier Français and I have been through is enormous and we have always followed our heart," says Janse, who grew up in the Netherlands and moved to Johannesburg to study photography.She later followed her passion for cooking instead."Our synergy has allowed for constant growth and a level of consistency. Susan [Huxter, hotel owner] has always promoted moving forward, changing what we do, improving what we offer, constant fine-tuning, and never getting too comfortable."One of Janse's favourite dishes to eat now is octopus with sorrel nori and a warm cucumber and horseradish consommé. "It makes me smile every time," she says.The restaurant is planning interesting menu changes, as well as anniversary celebrations for Janse this year."We are making some exciting new fish dishes for when we reopen on July 1, and working with the most amazing beef brisket from biodynamic farmer Angus McIntosh in Stellenbosch."Our next goal is the book, because it's time. But [my] ultimate goal? I can't answer that. It's here and now that matters."The Tasting Room is inside the Relais and Châteaux Le Quartier Français Hotel at 16 Huguenot Road in Franschhoek, 021-876-2151

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