Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, Jane studied under one of the country’s best chefs, David Higgs, giving her the opportunity to master a comprehensive repertoire of dishes, from which she has developed her signature fresh style.
Jane spent 2 years as the Executive Chef and Culinary Manager at Hall Wines in California’s Napa Valley, catering to the tastes of such celebrated guests as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, before joining EOS, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller’s magnificent Sailing Yacht, where cooking became Jane’s ticket to see the world.
She currently calls New York City her home base and divides her time between working on personal projects and cooking regularly for Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna Huffington, and Marci Klein.
Jane’s first cookbook, ‘Fresh Happy Tasty’ was released in 2013 under HarperCollins, with whom she is working on a second book.
Jane believes dining should be about discovery, pleasure and togetherness.
“Nothing about my background is conventional. I think I have something unique to offer. What I’d love to share is the experiences that I’ve authentically lived for the past 16 years since leaving Cape Town. I’ve had the most wonderful opportunities to do and see the most incredible things. Always being an outsider in new situations has taught me that for the most part, the world is welcoming and warm. The special thing about food is that it gets you in homes, around tables, and in some of the most intimate moments like nothing else can. It’s the best vehicle to experience the earth.
I’ve spent time cooking with the best chefs in Napa, California and in some of the most luxurious homes and yachts on earth, but also in the smallest huts and on the most remote beaches learning about food from old ladies in their kitchens, local cooks at street food stands, and people at markets all over the world. Eating everything and anything to learn, gain trust, and make genuine connections. Through all these experiences, I’ve developed a cooking style and skill set that is unique to me.
I’ve learned that it’s the simple food that we enjoy most. Meals that bring you to the present moment because of where you are and who you’re with, not what expensive equipment you’ve used or how starched the napkins are.”
“When I was 22, I heard about this industry where you live on yachts and travel the world. So I bought a book called ‘Working on Super Yachts’ and flew to the South of France with 100 Euros.
I spent 12 years traveling extensively with my kitchen around the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Caribbean and slowly throughout Southeast Asia to New Zealand, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, and across the Pacific to Central America. Circumnavigating the globe and learning, cooking, and feeding the most incredible people along the way. I’ve cooked in some of the worlds biggest houses and in huts in some of the most remote places on earth. I‘ve made friends in cities and ports literally all over the world.
But as much as it was a dream, that chapter is done, and I desperately want to share it.”