On the 27th and 28th of May this year, the township of Langa, in Cape Town, will play host to the top restaurant in South Africa, The Test Kitchen. The Guga S'Thebe Cultural Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, which is also South Africa's oldest township, will see internationally acclaimed chef Luke Dale-Roberts and his stellar team from The Test Kitchen, cooking two lunches in aid of the Noluthando Early Childhood Development Centre and Project Archangel. The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project is set to be a new benchmark in charity events.
The four-course menu hosted at The Guga S'Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre showcasing Luke and his team's talents will provide a true The Test Kitchen experience. There are 140 seats available per day at a cost of R250 per person, which includes wines and craft ciders sourced from local estates.
The impetus behind this exciting and meaningful event is Wanda Guma. Born in Langa, but raised in the States, Guma returned to Cape Town in his late teens. His experience in the past 15 years in the public and private sectors has focused around Business Development and Strategic Marketing, and he is involved in various entrepreneurial activities in Langa, from tourism to media and communications. He heard Dale-Roberts speak at last year's Business of Design Conference, and immediately approached him with the idea of doing a pop-up restaurant experience in a township.
“He was really excited about the idea of being involved in a township project of some kind. We set up a brainstorming meeting with him and his team, and in the end came up with the idea of doing two very affordable charity lunches,” Guma explains.
The idea is to make a fine-dining experience for people from the townships available; not only will this create a unique dining experience for people from within and outside the township, but the charities will benefit from the proceeds of the events and a great deal of awareness will be raised around the township and the charities concerned.
Dale-Roberts is equally excited by the project. He says: “I've been wanting to get a township charity project started for a while, and The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project is a fantastic way to be involved. From sharing our food philosophy and taste experiences, to placing the spotlight on worthy charities, this is a unique way to make a difference.”
Guma is collaborating closely with Dale-Roberts and his team, including sponsors and volunteers on the days. Guests can not only expect the most sublime food and wine at a fraction of the cost at The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project, but also hear stories from the charities as well their plans on what they want to achieve with monetary and non-monetary donations they'll be receiving from the events.
Guma sees multiple benefits stemming from The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project. “For people from the townships to experience a true gourmet meal can be life-changing. People outside the township have a chance to visit the township – over a phenomenal meal and at the same time supporting charity. It will also have economic spin-offs on the day and in the future, for example promoting township tours or the sale of arts and crafts by artists who exhibit their products at the Guga S'Thebe Cultural Centre,” he says.
There are two charities that will benefit from The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project. Noluthando Early Childhood Development Centre in Langa provides a safe, caring, hospitable environment for children in the local and surrounding communities, with a specific focus on good nutrition and early childhood development education. Project Archangel raises funds and support for St Michael's Home for Abused Teenage Girls which is based in Plumstead, Cape Town.
“The most exciting part of The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project and working with Luke Dale-Roberts and The Test Kitchen, besides the fine dining experience, is the possibility of raising funds for two worthy causes, thus allowing them to continue the excellent work that they have been doing. This also means that they will also be able to accommodate more people into their programmes. The charities we will be raising funds for having done tremendous work over the years and I would like to ensure that the excellent work that they have done for people in their own community and for those from other communities, is recognised and rewarded. By making this initiative a success, it will allow us to make this an annual event to ensure that the charities have funding and the equipment needed to continue their work for years to come,” Guma says.
Dale-Roberts adds, “The Test Kitchen X The Langa Project is going to be a benchmark: not only for how gourmet restaurants can play an integral part in raising money for worthy charities, but also for the unique dining experience it will create.”
For booking enquiries, book online via thetestkitchen.co.za or call (27) (21) 447 2337 during office hours (no tickets available at the door on the weekend of the promotion).