South Africa and United Kingdom based designers are working together to deliver authentic South African charm to Jamie’s Italian launching Johannesburg soon. All over the world, Jamie’s Italian restaurants pride themselves on always incorporating regional touches into their design.
By drawing inspiration from indigenous prints, national colours and key industries, Jamie’s Italian is setting out to become a part of the culture and vibe of South Africa.
Jack de Wet has been Head of International Design & Development for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group in the UK over the past five years. He is one part of the team responsible for helping draw influence from South Africa and its heritage and including that in the new restaurant’s design.
De Wet, originally from the Western Cape, holds a post-graduate degree in architecture from UCT and told us he was fortunate to have grown up in SA, which he believes is blessed with brilliant food, a fantastic climate, amazing people and a sense of untouched beauty.
“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. This can be seen in the intricate metalwork balustrade and screen details,” explains De Wet.
Taryn Constable of Design Vision, who is the project coordinator based in South Africa, says, “It has been fantastic to work with an international team that is so up-to-date with the latest trends from around the world. It brings a new perspective to our local design.”
The look and feel of Jamie’s Italian SA will be impressive but not intimidating, ensuring it’s a place for a light bite, special occasions but also the place for family celebrations and Saturday night socialising.
Crowds can expect a more casual ground floor, with a Jamie’s Italian signature show kitchen – pioneered in the UK, offering customers a view into a fully operational cook line.
Customers will be able to watch the passionate team of chefs working hard to deliver great quality food, all while enjoying a comfortable and welcoming environment. In turn, the first floor will be a more refined space, with a sophisticated cocktail bar and spacious seating.
With excited teams working hard behind the scenes to deliver their best work to date, Jamie’s Italian SA is soon to be a favourite spot for families and friends to create priceless memories all year round.
“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone once we open and are hoping they’ll appreciate what we’ve done to make this restaurant look and feel authentically South African. As an expat living and working in London, I am constantly reminded what an incredible country South Africa is and how far it has come in such a short time. I’ve no doubt that Jamie’s Italian will further emphasise this,” says De Wet.