Designers from both SA and the UK are working together to make sure that South Africa’s first Jamie’s Italian restaurant will have a local appeal. Around the world, Jamie’s Italians incorporate regional touches into the standard restaurant design, and by drawing inspiration from “indigenous prints, national colours and key industries”, the restaurant looks set to effortlessly enter the market, matching the culture and vibe of SA.


Jack de Wet, originally from the Western Cape, is the Head of International Design & Development for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group in the UK, and is one part of the team responsible for reflecting local heritage and culture in the SA restaurant.


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.


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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 the restaurant will be “impressive but not intimidating”, ensuring that it’ll be a place for all occasions – from a light bite to special occasions. The ground floor will be a casual space with a show kitchen giving customers a look into a fully operational cook line, whilst the first floor will be a bit more refined, with a cocktail bar and spacious seating.


“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.

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