Luke Dale Roberts & Co introduces a new culinary concept charity event


Cape Town’s most glamorous gastronomic gala event is set to wow socialite-foodies and philanthropists this December.

Like Willy Wonka’s magical golden tickets, an invitation to the year’s hottest black tie gourmet celebration, featuring the best chefs in Africa, promises to be a sought-after culinary experience.

And it’s all in aid of the Signature of Hope Trust, a 100% non-profit organisation that is set to disrupt the world of charities and NGOs, with its innovative programme for regenerating the NGO sector to the benefit of current and future generations of South Africans.

On Sunday 16 December, to mark the Day of Reconciliation, the inaugural Signature of Hope Gala Dinner will open its doors to just 100 fortunate guests. Tickets to this landmark gastronomic affair will be for sale by invitation and online, there is no doubt that foodies, avid restaurant goers, and serious philanthropists, will be clambering to secure a front row seat at the festivities.


Stars of the culinary show include multi-award-winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts (whose restaurant The Test Kitchen is currently rated no. 1 in Africa and features in the world’s top 50), and his three talented protégés: Freddie Dias of The Pot Luck Club, Wesley Randles of The Shortmarket Club and The Commissary, and Ryan Cole of Salsify at the Roundhouse. Each chef worked closely with Luke over the years, before setting off on their own restaurant journeys.

For one night only this year, Luke & Co have dreamed up a five-star, multi-course experience – where every cent raised will be donated to the Signature of Hope trust.

We are all so excited about the event. It’s an opportunity for us to give back in a meaningful way while really pushing the boundaries of what we love to do – create and cook and, at the same time help change our country for the better,” says Luke.


The event is the brainchild of Dr Kamlen Pillay of Wembley Clinic and Sandalene Dale Roberts, who is also the design talent behind each of Luke Dale Roberts restaurants, and together they have conceptualised a gastronomic charity night like no other.

We wanted to create something different, not just ‘another charity event’, and we think that a night in one space with all these amazing chefs and surprise elements is something that will get people talking and bring together those people who are serious about making South Africa better,” says Sandalene.

Luke and his fellow chefs have joined forces with A-list event planners Aleit Swanepoel and Julie Killias to create a uniquely glamorous celebration and culinary showcase in aid of the greater good. Everyone involved is donating their time and expertise to ensure that every cent raised goes directly to the nominated charities.



Aside from the food, there will be plenty of surprises on the night. Firstly, the venue is a secret, with guests transported in chauffeured vehicles sponsored by Mercedes Benz, from a pre-event soiree sponsored by leading champagne brand Bollinger, to the secret location. Live entertainment at the venue will include surprise contributions from some of South Africa’s best-loved celebs, and a charity auction featuring luxury experiences and collectables. This includes a unique artwork created live on the night by bronze sculptor Otto du Plessis.

There are a number of seriously big ticket items on the auction schedule that we’re keeping secret too – it’s all part of the fun of the night,” says Sandalene.



All proceeds from the ticket sales and auction will be donated to the Signature of Hope (SOH) Trust, which will present 100% of these funds to two nominated charities: The Avela Foundation and The Smile Foundation, these two foundations will be administering the funds for the complete refurbishment and expansion of the Burn Unit at the Kimberley Hospital in the Northern Cape.

The SOH Trust is backed by corporate giant Carrick Wealth, and does incredible work in filling the void between those who are in dire need, and those who have and want to give, but are demotivated by the current corruption amongst charities and NGOs.


What sets SOH apart is the impeccable level of transparency and accountability, as every cent goes towards uplifting needy South Africans. We see ourselves as ‘disruptors’ in the NGO sector because of our focus on being the benchmark of consistent transparency, and on encouraging other charities to follow suit by instilling a corporate ethos of transparency and accountability. We also believe that the most sustainable way to facilitate real change in our country is to bring all NGOs together at a summit every three to five years, and to harness the collective power of organisations by encouraging NGOs to abide by a charter that will root out corruption and human rights violations, instilling trust in the sector and thereby enabling NGOs to change our country for the better. We want guests at the event to know that they will be making an enormous difference to the future of our country”, explains Dr Pillay.


Cape Town’s ‘Silly Season’ is a time when party invitations come in thick and fast and when getting a seat at the likes of The Test Kitchen and the other Dale Roberts restaurants is near impossible. The Signature of Hope Gala Dinner on December 16th will be a black-tie affair giving magnanimous philanthropists and Luke Dale Roberts’ fans the chance to dress-up and indulge in their favourite chefs’ food; giving back in the most memorable way imaginable.


A limited number of tickets are available for purchase via The Test Kitchen website

For more information visit the Smile Foundation ; the Avela Foundation ; and Signature of Hope