There’s been some buzz in the air when it comes to new food in town. You’ve probably heard the word mentioned in passing conversation, seen the white bags with the orange swirls and the stand at The Park Silly Market last summer or even, hopefully, had the pleasure of biting into one of these magic little sandwiches. If you don’t know, and you haven’t had one yet, shut your computer, get off your phone and go there. Now. Or better yet, call them. They deliver.
What are they? They’re called Jafflz. A nostalgic creation that emerged from chef Meryl van der Merwe’s childhood, a throwback sandwich from the 1950’s, that have now become an on-the-go, gourmet, ‘fast’ food revolution. When you get one, it looks simply like a round toasted sandwich, but one bite and you will quickly be transported to other realms of the world. The global spectrum the menu covers includes cuisines such as Indian, African, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, New Orleans, Italian and more. Convenient, authentic, gourmet, and oh so delicious.
How It All Started
The idea behind the entire operation is chef van der Merwe, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, who now resides in Park City. Before the Jafflz idea was born, van der Merwe traveled and worked all over the world as a private chef aboard super-yachts and in grand estates for some of the world’s most exclusive clientele. Being immersed in the private chef and yachting world gave her the opportunity to travel to places, from Mediterranean and the Caribbean to exotic and remote locations such as Micronesia and Irian Jaya. As you can imagine, as a chef her experience, skill and cooking knowledge is immensely broad and global, as she is able to capture cuisines and flavors from all over the world in her cooking.
After van der Merwe met her husband, they decided to give life to a new gourmet catering company in the South of France, Du Monde Gourmet Catering. After some time passed, they brought the business to Park City, where chef Meryl found that there were plenty of restaurants and caterers, but lacked in private chefs. She had the opportunity of helping build the brand of Casanova, a luxury ski chalet located in Deer Valley where the yachting world and ski world combined. From this, business was great for van der Merwe and she branched out to 12 clients with a team of 35 people per season. She spent over a year looking for a commercial kitchen to prep in and finally rented a kitchen space out in Silver Creek where she was able to prep and prepare foods ahead of time. “After a while, we were having construction workers stop by all the time asking for sandwiches. I would tell them, we don’t make sandwiches, we’re a private chef business, but they were so persistent and hungry that I began to make them Jafflz,” she said. I guess you could say, the rest is history. Since opening Du Monde’s private chef business in 2007, van der Merwe met new business partner Kevin Plank and the two of them together gave life to Jafflz.
All About Jafflz
“Jafflz are what I would eat as a child in South Africa on camping trips, around the fire, and are a very common thing to eat there,” she said. “The Dutch having a major influence on South Africa, there was a lot of Dutch oven cooking going on. The leftovers of these meals are what we would put inside the jafflz.” With these modern day Jafflz, the whole concept is that you are able to sample a world of cuisines without even leaving Park City in a fast and convenient way. With 13 years of private chef experience from all over the globe, van der Merwe has truly captured all of the essences of the different cuisines she is representing in the Jaffle flavors. The ingredients are fresh, and she is completely honest about what’s going into them. “People have the assumption that since it is a stuffed sandwich, they are going to be heavy, but some of them are under 300 calories and light! The ingredients are fresh, local whenever possible and I am happy to tell you exactly what is in them. We take pride in what we are serving.”
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, Jafflz are designed to be eaten at any time of day by any type of person, young, old, etc.! The options of flavors will stump you as one glance at the menu and I guarantee there will be at least 3 that you want to try. Just to get you intrigued, choose from flavors such as Bahn Mi inspired by the classic Vietnamese sandwich, the ever popular Bafootie filled with lamb curry, the Shorty which contains short rib, caramelized onion, and cheese, or the wonderful Peach Cobbler that tastes like your grandma made it. These are only some of the examples of the wonderful flavors you can order. Click here to view the whole menu.
Ordering them is simple. Choose a bread, choose a filling, wait 5 minutes or less and enjoy your convenient, toasty snack. Did I mention gluten free and vegan options are available? The Goa Vegan Indian Vegetable Curry Jaffle just so happens to be one of my favorite flavors!
The convenience doesn’t stop at just the Jaffle concept as Du Monde still fully exists within the Jafflz location with a cold case packed full of delicious grab and go options including mac and cheese, short ribs, mashed potatoes and much more! They will also deliver Jafflz for free if you order 6 or more! Click here to order online. The Silver Creek location is just the beginning in terms of the expansion of this brilliant new concept. In the near future, don’t be surprised if you begin to see new Jafflz locations pop up in Park City and keep an eye out for the orange swirl logo! Watch the video below to learn more and meet Chef Meryl.