Jamie Oliver’s Italian Franchise to Open in September at Melrose Arch
Johannesburg – The award-winning, world-renowned British chef, Jamie Oliver has announced this week that he is coming to Joburg to open up his franchise Italian restaurant and he says the Italian dishes on the menu will be simple, honest and delicious.
Jamie will be opening the doors to his franchise Italian restaurant “Jamie’s Italian” in trendy Melrose Arch in September.
It joins a family of 40 other establishments around the world that followed the first one he opened in the British university town of Oxford in 2008. The chain of restaurants is a partnership between Oliver and his Italian mentor, the chef Gennaro Contaldo.
South African company Whisky Creek Brands is the exclusive operating partner for the Jamie’s Italian venture in Joburg.
The menu is full of rustic, Italian-inspired dishes with an Oliver twist, and bowls of freshly made delicious pasta.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be bringing Jamie’s Italian to South Africa,” Oliver says.
“Johannesburg is an incredible city with an established food scene, so to be opening a restaurant here is a huge honour for me. Right now we’re recruiting a brilliant team who will become part of our ever-growing Jamie’s Italian family. When we open the doors, we’ll be serving beautiful, simple, great-value Italian food, all made with the best ingredients we can get our hands on.”
Stephen Gersowsky, chief executive officer of Whisky Creek Brands, says Jamie’s Italian will offer meals prepared from simple, fresh, everyday ingredients of a high quality.
“Food provenance is key. All our ingredients have traceable origins. It will be food that is delicious Gersowsky said one of the main aims was to welcome everyone to the restaurant.
“Families, people on a business lunch, first dates, special occasions, and people looking for a quick lunch or a simple drink at the bar are all welcome.
“You could come in for a quick bowl of Bolognese for lunch or you could splash out and enjoy a complete feast of antipasti, sides, mains and desserts – it’s up to you.”
The restaurant will also be affordable, according to Gersowsky. He says the idea is to provide an affordable, accessible experience in a casual, relaxed environment, rather than high-end dining.
“We aim to create a nice, fun, relaxed vibe in the restaurants, but most of all we just want people to know they can come to us for delicious food at an affordable price.”
South African foodies will also have the chance to see the award-winning chef from time to time.
“Jamie himself is very involved in both the look and feel of each restaurant, and in the creation of the menus.
“He meets his team regularly to tweak menus and add seasonal dishes.”
Gersowsky says the names of the chefs who are to run Jamie’s Italian in Melrose Arch are to be announced soon.
“We are looking for superstars at all levels, from front of house to back of house. We hope we can fill as many positions as we can with local people who are passionate about great food and service.”