Chef Luke Dale Roberts is revered in the culinary world for his ability to tirelessly create some of the country’s finest and most innovative cuisine. With restaurants in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Luke has now released his highly anticipated recipe book, The Test Kitchen.
Born in Britain, Luke spent time in Europe, where he learnt to cook, while his travels in Asia opened his culinary world. He trained at the historic Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, whereafter he returned to London to work under the watchful tutelage of Chef Kevin Hopgood at Elena’s L’Etoile, a Parisian bistro-style restaurant in the West End. From there, he graduated as executive sous chef at Soho House Media Club, where he catered for the likes of Oasis, Kevin Spacey, and Madonna.
Then, in 2000, Luke was offered an executive chef position at the international Accor Hotel Group, which put him at the helm of hugely successful restaurants across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and the Philippines. During this time, the limitations of his classic French training fell open with the influx of exotic ingredients, spices, cooking techniques, and food traditions.
Finally, in 2006, he set down roots in his wife’s homeland, South Africa, becoming the executive chef at La Colombe in Constantia Uitsig. And thus began the stratospheric rise to success that most South African foodies are familiar with, winning awards year after year. In 2010, Chef Luke opened the bastion of gastronomy that was The Test Kitchen, which went on to smash a first-place victory at every annual Eat Out Awards for six years.
Luke has an unconventional vision and vigorously throws himself into the unknown; he prioritises creative freedom and experimentation; and pushes diners to the limits of their discomfort, with the pay-off being multisensory enlightenment. He relentlessly challenges himself and his team to pursue new, fresh, interesting flavour combinations, striking unforgettable chords on the nose and palate. His portfolio currently includes The Pot Luck Club, The Test Kitchen, and Salon in Cape Town, and The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club in Johannesburg.
Now, with the release of his new book, foodies will have the chance to explore some of Chef Luke’s most beloved and iconic recipes, including snacks, breads, starters, palate cleansers, mains, desserts and cocktails. It includes a foreword by Heston Blumenthal and incredible colour photographs throughout. The Test Kitchen is a stunning visual keepsake as flavourful as Luke’s spectacular dishes and will appeal to his fans and professional and home cooks.
We’re sure that Luke’s culinary journey is nowhere near complete as we sit with bated breath, waiting for his next move.