For those of you living under a rock for the past few months, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg will soon be the home for Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant. Owned by Amdec Group. Melrose Arch confirmed in late January that they were in talks with Jamie’s team to bring the brand into the country. While this is Jamie Oliver’s first branded presence in South Africa, the country is home to a few restaurants with chefs that trained under him, including Giulio’s Café in Cape Town, in InFoods in Jeffery’s Bay.


And the Head Chef is … *que the drum roll*

Shane Smit, A South African chef, will fill the role of group head chef for the highly anticipated restaurant, which is set to launch in November. Along with Jamie Oliver’s team, Shane will be responsible for compiling a complete menu boasting local flavour with that undeniable Italian charm for both the Johannesburg spot as well as the Cape Town branch which has yet to be announced.


And the menu predictions?

Whilst we wait with bated breath for the launch as well as a glimpse of the menu, you can be rest assured that at the core of Jamie’s Italian will be some of the best pasta recipes known to man (or so we are hoping). With a few lighter and not so predictable dishes like nacho’s and a few twists on our local favourites, we sure are expecting a lot from Jamie’s Italian


Profiling Shane Smit

12241596_541032839398287_2867785728541391479_nHailing from Springs, Gauteng, Shane has experience working with Jamie and his team at the first Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Oxford, which opened in 2008. Returning to South Africa, Shane then worked in numerous five-star establishments and consulted for restaurants across the country. More recently he held the position of executive chef for the Mount Edgecombe Country Club in Durban