One of the seven wonders of the world

I love Cape Town.

I first came here when I was bringing over Taste of London in 2008 and just fell head over heels. I think it is a combination of sunshine, beautiful landscapes, clear skies and wonderful people … with a dollop of great wine too. It really is pretty simple over here. No agendas, no one upmanship and no saying-one-thing-and-meaning-another. Everyone here just wants to play their part in creating a better country.

Every time I come, I discover new start ups with great branding and young locals who have just taken the initiative and created a new business. Obviously I am pretty much focused on food, and the industry here is thriving. Taste was a resounding success from year one and I just loved the fact that the best chefs in the country were welcoming and supportive of the idea. Margot Janse met me without an appointment, armed with a smile and glass of Champagne at the Le Quartier Francais and still asks after me! Can you imagine Gordon Ramsay doing the same thing in London?

So it was with a great sense of excitement that I arrived here on New Years Eve and I have not been disappointed.

Some things continue to impress:


Manna Epicure bakery

and not forgetting the wonderful Knead Bakery, complete with new book and three new outlets since I last visited.


The first new revelation is the wonderful Luke Dale Roberts. He is simply a fantastic chef.

British born Luke is best known for his Test Kitchen at the Biscuit Mill he has now opened a tapas place next door called the Pot Luck Club. Both are superlative with faultless food, great service and the lovely Luke shimmying between the two sides across both open kitchens. But it is the Pot Luck Club that really got to me. Pot Luck because he is encouraging all his chefs to come up with dishes for the menu so it is pot luck which one you are getting and for that I love him. A great chef putting his reputation on the line and supporting new blood in his restaurant.

Luke on the right with his brigade

Every dish came out with passion written all over it. This is a must if you can get a booking. The Test Kitchen was booked up for 2 months when I was there – ring in advance!