Chef and restaurateur Luke Dale Roberts has announced that he will withdraw his restaurant The Test Kitchen from consideration for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards with immediate effect.

Since opening in Cape Town in 2010, The Test Kitchen has won the Eat Out Awards’ ‘Restaurant of the Year’ for six years running, alongside a string of additional awards for service and innovation.

“It’s been an enormous honour to have received so many accolades from the Eat Out Awards over the years, but we feel that the time is right to step aside and let the next generation of younger chefs receive the recognition they are due,” says Dale Roberts. “The Test Kitchen has always been about pushing the boundaries of creativity and dining experience. One of the great joys of being a chef is the freedom to channel our own creativity onto the plate in whatever way we deem to be our own. The Test Kitchen is proud to call South Africa home, but our inspirations are global. Although we’re stepping away from the Eat Out Awards we look forward to continuing our journey of culinary discovery”

“I am excited about the future and all that it holds. I feel that this is the right decision and gives me the autonomy I need to express myself creatively. I feel that the food scene in South Africa is growing every day. As chefs we have the power to lead and mentor a hungry generation of young blood from all different walks of life and background. I would like to channel all my positive energy into this. The producers, farmers and purveyors based here in South Africa are pushing the boundaries and I support and honour them wholeheartedly.”

The Test Kitchen is the second restaurant to withdraw from the Eat Out awards this year, with Chef Chantel Dartnall announcing that her establishment Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient will no longer be participating in the Awards.

“I have decided that after having set foot on the Eat Out stage 10 times, being recognised not only as one of their top 10 restaurants, but also having taken home the title of chef of the year twice, and Mosaic’s Sommelier Moses Magwasa has also had the honour of going home with the wine service award two consecutive years that we will be stepping aside to vacate our position in the top 10 lineup to allow for the new generation of chefs and restaurants to shine on the culinary stage,” Chef Chantel said in a statement on her Facebook page.  “My team and I will now continue to focus on what we do best at Restaurant Mosaic – creating magical dining experiences for our guests, supporting our local suppliers and growing the talent of our young chefs and my front of house team in the years to come”

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