South African chef Jean Delport and Restaurant Interlude in Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens in Sussex, England have retained their Michelin Star after also receiving the honour in 2019.

Delport is only the second South African to win the coveted award. He made his name at the Benguela on Main restaurant in Somerset West before being swept off to the historic woodland setting of South East England.

Restaurant Interlude was established by entrepreneur Penny Streeter in October 2018. The nature-inspired menu was created by Delport and is guided by what is available in the establishment’s garden or grown nearby.

“We were delighted to receive this recognition by Michelin after just one year of opening, and now have retained the award in 2021,” said Delport, who leads a team of seven kitchen staff.

“Interlude connects lovers of fine dining with the very spirit of the finest woodland gardens in England, unspoilt and carefully curated for over 200 years.”

The dishes on the restaurants multi-course tasting menu are designed according to a hunter-gatherer concept of food that is foraged, cultivated and raised on the estate or close by, added Delport.

“It is savoured and enjoyed as an intimate dining experience; a small, exclusive dinner party within the estate’s Italianate mansion house,” he said.

Options available on the seasonal menu may include estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal, as well as fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry, or even oyster, foraged greens and juniper.

A South African wine selection is available at the restaurant courtesy of Streeter’s vineyard at Benguela Cove in Hermanus, while wines from other local estates are also available.

Besides his time in Somerset West, Delport also received several accolades during his training at the prestigious Zevenwacht Chef School.

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Picture: Instagram/@interludesussex

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