Jean-Pierre van der Haar

Jean-Pierre van der Haar

Claire Gunn

Current Head chef, Thali
Born 9 September 1992
Training Cape Peninsula University of Technology; SA Chefs Academy
Work history One&Only Hotel Cape Town; chef de partie at Chefs Warehouse & Canteen (under chef Liam Tomlin, alongside chefs Ivor Jones, David Schneider and Jason Kosmas); sous chef at Thali; promoted to head chef at Thali in February 2018.
Inspiration “I’ve always had an obsession with food and this deep desire to not only eat great food, but to be able to create and share my obsession with everyone else around me. This all took place even before I realised I wanted to make a career of it.
“I think I drew my inspiration from the first time I watched someone eat my food without realising I was watching. Just the look on their face changed my life for good. I think the chef whom I enjoyed watching and reading about the most as a youngster would have to have been Joel Robuchon.”

Restaurants he rates in 2020

Best casual eatery Jason Bakery
Best fine-dining restaurant La Colombe
Best wine farm restaurant Chefs Warehouse at Maison
Best restaurant for speciality cuisine Hesheng Chinese Restaurant
Best new restaurant Jewells
Best restaurant that’s stood the test of time Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
Best spot to indulge your guilty pleasure Bao Down
Best hole-in-the-wall The Melting Pot Cafeteria
Best overall restaurant experience Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

Restaurants he rated in 2019

For a casual meal Willoughby & Co.
For a special occasion Chefs Warehouse at Maison
For a guilty pleasure Unframed Ice Cream
For a Winelands experience Chefs Warehouse at Maison
For authentic cuisine Nobu at One&Only Cape Town
Best new restaurant Bao Down
Best “oldie but goodie” Jason Bakery
The best restaurant overall Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia