Former executive Chef at the award-winning Relais and Châteaux Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek, Margot Janse believes that each dish she creates has to say something. Born and educated in The Netherlands, Margot’s tertiary studies included drama and photography – which laid the foundation for her early work with a photographic school in Johannesburg, South Africa. However at the age of 23 the ‘magic of the kitchen’ beckoned and she approached Ciro Molinaro, a highly respected Johannesburg restaurateur, who agreed to teach her in his own kitchen. It was two years of long shifts and hard work but Margot learned every aspect of managing a kitchen. More importantly Ciro encouraged her to experiment and play with food, creating in Margot an ability to explore beyond traditional ‘food boundaries’. In 1995 Margot joined the culinary team at Le Quartier Français.
Two years ago, Margot started Isabelo. An initiative that provides nutritious muffins for 70 school children in Franschhoek. With the help of a dietician, she designed a highly nutritious muffin recipe for a small local crèche. These muffins are crammed full of all the daily nutritional requirements growing children needed. They then went on to bake and deliver these muffins, with the help of their guests, every single Friday.