We’ve all heard the news that world-famous chef Jamie Oliver will be opening his first restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, in Jozi later this year. And it definitely won’t be an absurdly priced eatery with things on the menu we can’t even pronounce… Jamie prides himself on his ability to incorporate the local culture into his menu and decor design – and this one will be no different.
A team of South African designers located both in SA and in the UK are working together to ensure the venue embraces the vibe and authenticity of Msansi, using indigenous prints, national colours and key local industries.
South African born Jack de Wet, who has been head of International Design and Development for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group for five years, is the UK co-ordinator on the project. ‘South Africa has an abundance of material to work with – the centre of it all, Joburg, is known as the city of gold with a nod to the industrialisation of the gold mining industry. We have used these elements in the materials, patterns and detailing of the design, without it being too obvious,’ he says.
Working on the project from local shores is Taryn Constable of Design Vision, who is excited to work with such a dynamic international team; she believes that their knowledge of up-to-date trends from around the world will only better enhance local design with new perspectives.
Once its doors are open, customers can expect a place that is impressive without being intimidating. The group wants it to be a place where you can grab a light bite to eat with your family; or a spot for Saturday night socialising or even a special occasion. On the ground floor, guests can expect to see a fully operational cook line – Jamie’s signature show kitchen. The first floor will be more refined with a sophisticated cocktail bar and spacious seating.
So whatever your fancy, whether it be after-work drinks with your friends or a lively family meal, it sounds like Jamie Oliver, as usual, will be catering for everyone.