When it comes to food glorious food, it seems that chef Luke Dale-Roberts can do no wrong. He truly is a trendsetter in a league of his own, and with the successes of the Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club under his belt, Naturalis is his new ‘baby’.
‘I call it my incubation hub,’ he says. The new venture will be part of The Old Biscuit Mill precinct in Woodstock and will be housed in a set of ‘containers’ designed by architect Greg Scott. The entire theme around Naturalis is about sustainability, upcycling and experimentation with flavours and food.
There will be a development kitchen as part of the premises, providing Dale-Roberts and his team ‘place to play’ with ideas around food and cooking. He says: ‘Fermentation, curing, culturing and drying: these are at the core of what I will be doing at Naturalis. For Dale-Roberts, it’s all about returning back to the basics of food preparation. ‘I’m fascinated by the process of fermentation: how it naturally changes the core aspects of an ingredient. In addition to the cheese room, fermentation room and bakery on the top level, Dale-Roberts is also planning a roof garden.
The entire feel of Naturalis will be based around sustainability as the guiding principle; interiors will consist of raw foods with a contemporary feel and the entire dining experience will be interactive.
No doubt, Dale-Roberts will yet again wow diners with his creativity and innovation, and perhaps Naturalis will become a benchmark for sustainable dining in South Africa.