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Finding your feet

with emma walker

Emma Walker’s journey with the JAN Group wasn’t luck but a meticulously orchestrated collaboration.

The JAN Group contacted her chef school, seeking aspiring talents for a coveted internship opportunity. Emma, fueled by her admiration for Jan Hendrik since her teenage years, seized the chance eagerly. After rigorous interviews, she secured the internship, paving the way for a life-altering experience.

With just over a year of prior professional kitchen experience, Emma ventured into uncharted territories, ready to absorb knowledge like a sponge. Her tenure with the JAN Group proved to be a masterclass in consistency—a virtue she now holds dear. “To always be consistent in everything you do,” she emphasises, echoing the fundamental lesson ingrained in her during her time in Nice.

But Emma’s growth didn’t stop at consistency. The JAN Group became her crucible for mastering new skills, from crafting unique marshmallows to perfecting seawater veils. The challenge of assuming full responsibility over a section tested her mettle, yet it also served as a catalyst for personal growth, instilling newfound confidence in her.

As Emma reflects on her internship, she reminisces about the stark contrast between her expectations and reality. “It was better than expected,” she muses, citing the joy of living in the sun-kissed landscapes of the South of France.

When asked about the JAN Group’s company culture, Emma paints a picture of professionalism and vitality—a culture that fosters growth and nurtures talent. For Emma, working with the JAN Group wasn’t just beneficial; it was an honour—a stepping stone towards her ultimate career goal of opening her own restaurant on her family’s farm in South Africa.

Emma offers simple yet profound advice to aspiring interns eyeing a journey with the JAN Group: “Just go for it!” With discipline, focus, and a passion for learning, the possibilities are limitless.

As Emma’s culinary journey continues to unfold, one thing remains certain—her time with the JAN Group was not just an internship; it was a transformative odyssey that shaped her into the culinary luminary she aspires to be.

A question asked, an answer given: 

How has your internship been beneficial to you and your career? Tell us about where you are in your career now.
I have learnt how a Michelin-star restaurant operates, which I never thought I would have the opportunity to do, and France, of all places – is the place to be when it comes to amazing food and culture. It is also perfect for the CV because JAN is such a well-known and popular group all around! But that is not why I wanted to do the internship. I’ve learnt so much, not just about food but also about myself and my confidence in this industry. It changed me in a very positive way. I work as a crew chef on a yacht in Antibes, France, and I love it!
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