Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen scoops the Chef of the Year award

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

Luke Dale-Roberts, owner of Cape Town dining destination The Test Kitchen, scooped the Chef of the Year award at the 2011 Eat Out Dstv Food Network Restaurant Awards held last night at The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay.

With a string of accolades from previous Eat Out Awards (including Chef of the Year in 2008) Luke Dale-Roberts has plenty to smile about today. At a glamorous awards ceremony and gala dinner held at the Rotunda, Bay Hotel last night, The Test Kitchen was also awarded 2nd best restaurant in South Africa in the 2011 Eat Out Dstv Food Network Restaurant Awards. The awards, which seeks to honour the best restaurants and chefs in South Africa coincides with the launch of the 2012 Eat Out Directory which showcases some 1000 eateries throughout South Africa. The leading food awards in South Africa, a place in the top 20 is a high note for many chefs, in the top 10 understandably even more so.

Luke, who opened his cutting edge eatery The Test Kitchen in November 2010, has achieved in twelve months what many culinary talents take years to accomplish. A consistent performer in the Eat Out Awards since his arrival on the South African food scene, Luke’s Chef of the Year 2011 accolade confirms what many experts in the culinary industry know – his is a remarkable talent that continues to push culinary boundaries without losing sight of the expectations of diners. Consistency, innovation and entertainment are the pillars of the experience Luke sets out to offer and he does so with a fresh and compelling approach – one that ensures his eatery is fully booked virtually every lunch and dinner shift.

Although Luke is undoubtedly thrilled he will certainly not be resting on his laurels. From a recent collaboration with leading food innovators Woolworths on a gourmet Christmas range due for launch in early December to a new dining concept The Pot Luck Club which will open next month, Luke has had a busy year, which makes his achievement at The Test Kitchen that much more impressive “I think the secret to the success of the restaurant so far is that every single person who works here is completely and utterly committed to doing their level best every single day – from the selection of the produce we work with to presenting each dish on the plate – we all want the same thing, for the diner to be blown away by the combination of flavours and the taste experience that we have put so much effort into creating”, says this humble chef whose laidback character belies a steely determination to produce perfection on every single plate.

True to form, though last night’s awards and the after party were festive affairs, Luke and his undoubtedly over-the-moon team are back in the place they love best – at The Test Kitchen, preparing for the onslaught of diners determined to get a taste of the brilliance that has landed them their coveted position.

The Test Kitchen is located at Shop 104 a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Greater Cape Town scoops 9 of the top 10 Eat Out awards

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

At a glittering awards ceremony held at the Rotunda at the Bay Hotel, we announced the winners of the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards and the prestigious Top 10 restaurants.

Restaurants are judged on food, service and ambience, as well as other aspects that make or break the eating out experience. This year we also included a host of new categories, making these the most extensive culinary awards in South Africa. Without further ado, here are the winners:

EAT OUT TOP 10 2011

The Greenhouse
International, African
Cape Town (Western Cape)

The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts
Tapas, Contemporary, Fusion
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
Franschhoek (Western Cape)

The Roundhouse
Contemporary, French
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Contemporary, Mediterranean, South African
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

Bistro, French
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

DW Eleven-13
Contemporary, International
Johannesburg (Gauteng)

Jordan Restaurant
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

Sushi, Japanese
Cape Town (Western Cape)

La Colombe
Fusion, Asian, French
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point – a gem for tourists

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

It takes a very special chef to meet the challenges of running a kitchen that is like no other. Luckily for the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, Phil Alcock is a chef who relishes a challenge.

“Most restaurants are able to build up a core clientele of regulars, people keep coming back for their favourite dishes,” Phil points out. “At Two Oceans Restaurant our guests are almost all tourists so my aim is to make sure that they have an experience that leaves them dreaming of coming back again, or at least sharing their great experience with others.”

While the tourist market provides the bulk of the 650 guests the restaurant serves each day, it is clear from Phil’s new menu that he is offering something special to locals as well, especially those who are green card holders and can enter the Cape Point Reserve for free.

“Previously our menu was a mix of foods, but I have decided that a restaurant which is situated at the meeting point of two great oceans needs to provide a seafood experience like no other,” he says.”It starts with the best possible quality fish and seafood. We’re providing world class food with a uniquely South African twist.”

Finding ways to meet challenges is typical of Phil. His journey to culinary excellence started when he was just 14, not because he had a particular interest in food but because he wanted to buy a motorbike and he realised that the only way he was going to get it was to earn the money himself.

“I bought the bike, but in the process of peeling the carrots and washing the pots, I also learned that the kitchen was a place where magic was performed and it was the place that I wanted to be.”
That decision led to a lifetime of learning, working in some of the best kitchens in all areas of the globe and honing the skills that are apparent in each masterful dish on the Two Oceans menu.

“Now I feel like I have come home. I have a job in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, I am able to spend time with my family in the evenings, and I am loving it. Each day is completely different and each day I return home with the satisfaction of a job well done.”

Waterkloof clinches Best Architecture and Landscape title

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 5th, 2011

Bio-dynamic wine beauty, Waterkloof Estate, known for its sustainable wine farming on the elevated outskirts of the Helderberg Winelands, has clinched South Africa’s Best Architecture and Landscape title at the prestigious Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best of Wine Tourism Awards 2012.

In addition, this magnificently appointed ‘cellar in the sky’, perched high on the slopes of the Schapenberg – where even the steep incline provides functional advantages in their winemaking process – also excelled with third place in the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Wine Tourism Restaurants categories.

In 2009, Waterkloof Cellar, which also features a fine dining restaurant, gorgeously appointed, 10 meter high glass promontory flowing from a slick wine tasting lounge, triumphed as the first South African architectural feat for Castle Rock Design – an Australian based company that is internationally recognised for its innovation in the design and management of wineries, luxury resorts and hospitality related projects.

“Waterkloof is committed to making elegant wines in the most honest and authentic method possible. Clearly the building must be a reflection of this commitment. The whole principle of the design is based around honesty, transparency and authenticity. There is the absolute minimum of applied finishes. Rather we wanted the natural materials to be expressed, warts and all,” shares Waterkloof’s architect Mitch Hayhow, Director of Castle Rock Design.

From the first encounter with this aesthetic masterpiece it is clearly visible that unlocking nature’s true potential holds no secrets at Waterkloof Estate. Cocooned in a contemporary glass and concrete sphere, the deep, open barrel cellar becomes apparent immediately as you enter the building and make your way to the modern, unadorned tasting lounge which spills onto the ‘glass box’ restaurant.

Here massive walls of clear glass reveal an ultra-modern gravitational cellar with ranks of wooden, open top fermenters and create a majestic sense of space through the uninterrupted, outstretched views.

All these experiences are set against the unintimidating backdrop of sweeping views of Waterkloof’s amphitheatre of vineyards, the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg mountains and full expanse of False Bay to Cape Point in the distance.


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