Jan Michelin-star South African born Michelin-star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is heading back home to open a new eatery! 
Photo Credit: Jan Hendrik

South Africa’s culinary scene is growing rapidly as more people take an interest in cooking and eating good food; SA Michelin Star Chef Jan Hendrick is making one hopeful chef’s dream, a reality!


Johannesburg, South Africa (02 June 2022) – South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef, published author, artist, and passionate photographer, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, just made a big dream come true for one hopeful chef.

Simphiwe “Sims” Kubeka, the 4th place contestant from the most recent season of Masterchef South Africa, has been crowdfunding to make his dream of being a chef a reality. He hoped to raise R850,000 to use towards getting a formal education in cooking, with his biggest hurdle getting a chance to study at a culinary school in France like all the greatest chefs.

The dream started for Sims while working as a software developer. He took that desire to cook, and when auditions for Masterchef South Africa opened, he jumped at the opportunity. Sims made the cut and won over the hearts of South Africans with his likeable personality, genuine kindness towards others and passion for success.

Putting it all on show, Sims baked and cooked his way to the final week before being outcooked by fellow contestants. He left the kitchen in 4th place. The competition ignited a drive in Sims, and he became determined to follow his dream of becoming a chef. Launching the crowdfund was his first step toward the big dream.

“Throughout the show, I pushed myself to my limits and gave my absolute best at every challenge. I really felt like the underdog coming into the competition because most of the other contestants had experience in the industry in one way or another and I was in awe of the skill that stood around me. I decided to not let that hold me back and use the opportunity to learn from everyone around me. I spent every night studying recipes and every waking moment coming up with dishes and concepts to try out in the kitchen. Although I learned so much during the process, it was clear to me that I needed more training and if I wanted to pursue this as my career, I would need to go back to school. “


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chef Sims Kubeka (@its.the.sims)

What Sims didn’t imagine happening, was being given the opportunity of a lifetime by South Africa’s first Michelin Star Chef, Jan.

Sims’ girlfriend Kayla Domnakis wrote to the Good Morning Angels (GMA) team at JacarandaFM to ask for help in highlighting Sims’ education fund. The GMA team reached out to Jan, and together they started planning a surprise for Sims.

In an emotional but incredibly positive on-air moment, Jan-Hendrik invited Sims to Nice, France, for a 3-month apprenticeship at his Michelin Star restaurant “Jan”. The opportunity is one every chef dreams of. Sims will be working side-by-side with South Africa’s most acclaimed chef and learn from Jan and his team of experts in the gastronomical capital of the world.

Jan-Hendrik told Sims that his internship will be entirely paid-for, including “the costs of the return flights to France, accommodation, and a salary”, so that Sims can concentrate on developing his food passion into a career.

“Kitchens are not easy spaces, but it’s the opportunity to put that on your CV, it might even open more doors than any diploma can ever do” – added Jan-Hendrik.

The restaurant showcases the balance between South African heritage classics and French cuisine. Restaurant JAN offers a unique and unforgettable experience in the fine dining arena. The artistry of the cuisine is enhanced by the exquisite décor, which reflects both Jan Hendrik’s culinary and cultural inspirations.

This is an incredible opportunity, and we cannot wait to see how Sims does! Best of luck, chef.

Sources: Good Morning Angels – Supplied
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *