Jason Whitehead has played a significant role in the local food scene for many years and has worked with some of the best restaurants in the city. He’s worked as a private chef for the crème de la crème of society from the likes of Meg Ryan to the Oppenheimer family. A brief stint at studying marketing and having owned a successful bistro equipped him with valuable experience and street cred. He has thus shifted his focus to marketing and consulting with other restaurants, media, and the hospitality and food industries.
This dynamic chef has been working on recipes for a cookbook written alongside nutritional therapist, Sally-Ann Creed (of Real Meal Revolution). The new food bible, Tasty WasteNots, follows the principles of ‘Waste not, want not’. It’s all about not wasting, health, organic gardening, Stellar organic wine pairings, and more. Due for release in August 2016, the cookbook will have you pondering why you’ve been peeling carrots all these years.
Jason is currently involved with the launch of a unique tri-level eatery at Villa 47 on lower Bree Street. Italian-owned company, Rialto have combined their food importing expertise to bring us a trio of restaurants all headed by Executive Chef, Clayton Bell. Clayton was impressed with Jason’s Instagram account and his creative conceptualisation, and thus, they connected.
On the bottom floor, a chic Italian bistro called Locanda opened about a month ago. Venture to the back and discover the spacious outdoor courtyard that will be pumping when the weather is warm. The upper two levels will be completed in June/July 2016. The second level Stuzziko is set to serve next-level tapas.
The Restaurant at Villa 47 will take residence on the third floor. With Jason’s consulting on the menu, you can anticipate a gourmet fusion of ‘East meets West’. Italian and Japanese cuisines will collide in a glorious melting pot. Or rather, pit. The pièce de résistance is the large charcoal pits in the open-plan kitchen. A first for South Africa, this is a major trend in Europe which allows you to see chefs preparing your meal using an unusual ‘appliance’.
Jason carefully chooses the companies he works with and prefers those with a focus on wellness and pure food. He acknowledges the importance of living a sugar-free life, and you can look out for fresh suggestions in the future.
Insights from Jason
It varies but he is fascinated by Eastern cuisine. His organic backyard garden is evidence of his passion for real food and healthy living.
Forget what your mother said, play with your food!
Advice for aspiring chefs
Go to your favourite restaurant, speak to the chef, and ask to work there for free for a week. You will learn so much.
Winter cooking advice
Slow cooking is ideal for the nine-to-fiver. It produces comforting meals that you will look forward to coming home to. Also, there’s no excuse not to make your own curry paste; the ingredients are all readily available. Jason’s Authentic Thai green curry paste recipe will show you the light.
Keep your eyes on Jason Whitehead as he is taking the local food scene by storm with vibrant contributions, outstanding food, and excellent advice.