She joined the restaurant 21 years ago, she trained a team to work in it, created food for it, won awards with it and now it’s time to move on. Margot Janse, executive chef at The Tasting Room and Le Quartier Français, has left and The Tasting Room is closing down. All is not lost for the restaurant space at Le Quartier Français however, as La Colombe will be opening a new restaurant there later this year.
Margot says she has loved her time at LQF and The Tasting Room adding that as change has come to Le Quartier Français, so change has come to her too. It is time to change gears and she is looking forward to taking some time off, having time for herself and finding out what it is like having a social life. To everything there is a season, even for a world famous award-winning chef.
Margot cannot look away when children a stone’s throw away go to school hungry and so she started feeding hungry minds in 2009. Initially she developed a nutritious muffin that was delivered to a crèche in the valley on Fridays and today 185 children at three schools are given lunch prepared by the staff of the restaurant every day; tiny tots at Early Learning Centres are given breakfast and lunch. All the funds collected locally and from generous sponsors overseas for Margot’s charity, Isabelo, are spent on the children. In addition to the meals prepared by her staff, 1100 children are fed every school day by the Kusasa Breakfast Club, which Isabelo funds and runs.
Isabelo is leaving the restaurant kitchen with Margot and will initially find a home in her home. Research into nutrition and feeding needy children, building a central kitchen to supply meals and feeding more children is what is on the cards so far. The idea is for cooking to happen in the kitchen in the mornings and to use the space for education in the afternoons. Margot’s knowledge in this commendable field is already being sought and she has been invited to do informative talks in Spain and Ireland.
Margot is excited about the new path she is taking and we can’t wait to find out where it takes her. She is a thinking, listening, creative person whom we previously called a great talent and lovely lady who wants to feed you something wonderful. This is how we still see her.