SA’s wealthy can buy chef Luke Dale Roberts' gourmet lockdown meals for between R1,800 and R5k a week

12 May 2020 - 06:45 By Naledi Shange
Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen has launched a gourmet food hamper delivery service during the coronavirus lockdown period.
Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen has launched a gourmet food hamper delivery service during the coronavirus lockdown period.
Image: Andy Lund

How much would you be willing to pay to have an internationally acclaimed chef prepare your meals each day for a week?

Well, acclaimed chef Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen has come to the rescue of all South Africans who miss fine dining as restaurants across the country remain shut.

For between R1,800 and R5,000, chef Luke and his team have prepared gourmet meals, which are packaged as hampers, enough for a week which are delivered straight to your doorstep — if you live in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

The menu offered by Luke is nothing short of five star with varieties such as “duck and pork belly country pate, beef bourguignon, juniper and citrus cured salmon gravadlax, navarin of lamb shank, various cheeses, rose scented meringues, trifle and chocolate fondants”.

In a statement, chef Luke said: “The current lockdown has engulfed many special events, with birthdays, anniversaries and more having to be spent at home. As we continue along this indefinite path, we have tried to create hampers that combine both the everyday, as well as unique and speciality items that will serve to make every meal a little more special, for any occasion.”

The R1,800 food hamper contains slow smoked Norwegian salmon fillet, duck and pork belly country pate, beef bourguignon, 'Joël Robuchon' mashed potatoes, chicken, leek and mushroom pie, cucumber and dill compote, potted beetroot, horseradish crème fraîche, apple chutney, assorted cheeses, 'roof bakery' sourdough and baguette, rose scented meringues, berry compote and vanilla mascarpone.

The one for R3,000 had among other things chicken liver and porcini parfait,  Lukes’ prawn cocktail, individual beef wellington,  rosemary and Parmesan cream.

The pricier menu of R5,000, has several additions including Lukes’ beetroot tart, crayfish and yuzu salad, cucumber and dill compote, tiramisu, pears poached in mulled wine  and vanilla mascarpone among other dishes.

Chef Luke, however, said all the proceeds for this drive will not be benefiting him at all. Instead, these funds would go towards saving the jobs of his staff.

“As we all know, the hospitality industry has been wrecked by Covid-19 and its subsequent economic fallout, and we at LDR are doing everything in our power to keep people employed, starting with our employees, and continuing along our supply chains,” he said.

“As such, this venture is a not-for-profit endeavour, with the sole purpose of keeping our employees livelihoods intact and buying time until we find out what the new normal of the SA restaurant industry will become”, he added.

Chef Luke added that with stringent laws in place, they took utmost care in preparing the food.

This included the temperature of his staff being taken three times a day, continuous monitoring of each person for Covid-19 symptoms, all staff wearing face masks, which are washed daily, 1.5 metres social distancing, hand washing every 15 minutes, surfaces sanitised every 30 minutes with paper towel which is immediately put in the bin, and daily deep clean of facilities.