THE INSIDE JOB
BY SANDALENE DALE ROBERTS
“It’s a celebration of everyone who works with us,” said Sandalene proudly as she welcomed the team, family and media to the launch of her book. It’s a big family, a tribe that shares the life of achieving excellence. Now it has been shared to inspire anyone who has dined at any of the Luke Dale Roberts restaurants.
Extracts from Luke’s diary, revealing quotes, emotive photography and handwritten notes – the book is a collection of visual treats. It’s personal, a true share. Sandalene thanked her two men (Luke and Finley), her parents who were present, and the individuals who made it happen – each person highlighted in the book was easily identifiable from a caricature badge, a collection of which features on the cover. Their sense of pride was palpable.
Cocktails and canapes, the recipes for which are in the book, were sipped by an appreciative audience in the courtyard and light room of The Test Kitchen.
The book, at R970 is available exclusively from the Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club, Shortmarket Club, and Salsisfy.
THE DISTELL INTER HOTEL CHALLENGE
It was during a quick chat to Test Kitchen sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka at the book launch that I discovered that he was the first-ever winner of the wine steward category in the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge.
The challenge, now in its seventh year, has been launched at a series of sumptuous functions around SA – Johannesburg, Durban, two in the winelands, and the last, at the 12 Apostles in Cape Town. On a glorious evening glamorously-dressed guests gathered on the lawns to witness not only a spectacular sunset, but whales playing in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s this kind of attention to detail that one has begun to expect from Annette Kesler and Chania Morrit-Smith of Showcook, who engineer this worthwhile initiative. It makes a unique and valuable contribution to the industry, giving talent a platform on which to learn, grow and shine. The candidates in the chef, sommelier and now concierge categories were introduced by their executive chefs and managers of the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, the One&Only, Vineyard Hotel, Southern Sun Cape Sun and SunSquare City Bowl, the President Hotel and Marriot Crystal Towers. They were charming and engaging, nerves and all, and I wish each and every one of them the very best of luck in the forthcoming months as they compete to be crowned the best in their categories.