1 Michelin Star Chefs: Jean Delport, head chef, Restaurant Interlude

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th November 2019

Jean Delport is the head chef at Restaurant Interlude.

Jean probably didn’t expect to get the restaurant a Michelin star in the 2020 guide (because it only opened its doors a year ago) and yet it did, making him the first South African chef to get a star in the UK guide.

Restaurant Interlude

The Staff Canteen

Leonardslee Gardens, Brighton Rd, Horsham RH13 6PP

Telephone: 01403 289490

Website and reservations: restaurant-interlude.co.uk

Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday 6:00pm-9:00pm

Twitter: @InterludeSussex

Facebook: @InterludeSussex

Biography

The chef trained at the Zevenwacht Chef School in his native South Africa, where he gained a classical French and English grounding which he took with him to Ireland.

He met Interlude owner Penny Streeter OBE at her Cape Town restaurant, Somerset West, where he worked for several years.

Described as one of the ‘key driving forces within the kitchen,’ his sous-chef, Ruan Pretorius, is also from South Africa. Before joining Jean at Interlude, Ruan worked at Restaurant Terroir at Kleine Zalze Lodge in the Cape winelands.

Restaurant Interlude

The restaurant is located in the woodland gardens of Leonardslee, a 240-acre, grade I listed estate in the outskirts of Horsham, West Sussex, formerly famous for its rhododendrons, azaleas and a colony of wallabies.

Interlude is part of the Benguela Collection, and sister to three other restaurants across the UK and South Africa: The Vineyard Kitchen in Mannings Heath, Moody Lagoon at Benguela Cove (which also has its own vineyard, where Interlude sources all its wine) and Benguela Brasserie at the Lakeside Lodge on the Swartvlei Lagoon.

Based on a hunter-gatherer meets farmer concept, respect for seasonality and local nature guide the food offering at Interlude, where ingredients either come from the vegetable gardens or from local farms.

Customers are given a choice between a ‘Garden Experience’ comprising 14 courses and an ‘Estate Experience’ – featuring 18 courses.

What the guides say

Michelin:

Michelin star

Specialities include scallops with green almonds, apple and nettle; halibut with watercress and seaweed and sheep’s milk with birch tree.  

Eccentricity meets elegance in dishes described by food critic Kavita Favelle, like the Cracker Tree, consisting of celeriac crackers, chicken skin crackers, crispy lavash bread, fried pigs ear, onion pastry parcels, smoked fish pate and seed butter; Rabbit Eats Carrot, which are carrot doughnuts filled with pulled rabbit meat dusted with carrot powder served with a carrot dipping sauce; Foraged Oyster & Oca: poached oyster garnished with sea greens, pickled green elderberries, and salmon roe with an oca root dressing.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th November 2019

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Jean Delport, head chef, Restaurant Interlude