Head Chef Jason Kosmas is heading up the award-winning The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town. “I’ve always admired Luke Dale-Roberts and of course I’ve kept an eye on his incredible achievements since I finished my studies at the ICA”, says Jason, who comes to the much-loved Woodstock eatery via The Stack.
Previously he was Head Chef at Chefs Warehouse, Bree Street, for a little over two years and part of the team at Thali – themselves successful local dining destinations.
“Honestly, I don’t think there is a chef in this country who wouldn’t want to work with Luke”, says this energetic young gun who is thrilled to have slotted into a team, which he says runs like a well-oiled machine.
Jason’s multicultural heritage plays an important part in his cheffing journey. Born to Greek and Italian immigrant parents, he moved to Johannesburg when he was eight. Until then he had lived in Italy and it is this Mediterranean sensibility of quality that he brings to the Pot Luck Club kitchen.
Pushing boundaries at The Pot Luck Club
“I spent my earliest years in Tuscany where food is so simple and seasonal – not to be fashionable, but it’s because that’s how everyone in Italy has eaten for centuries”, he says, “and that’s what I love about The Pot Luck Club too – that seasonal and local ingredients are the heroes and we build the dining experience around that”.
As with all the eateries in the growing Dale-Roberts empire, Luke plays an integral role in the menu development and overall dining experience.
“Luke Dale-Roberts is known for pushing boundaries within the confines of excellence and he encourages all of us to really apply our minds, our passion and our skills to produce food that will consistently wow our guests”, says Jason.
To this end, Jason and Luke have started working on some new ideas and concepts which will be introduced this April.
“There’s so much that people love about The Pot Luck Club so we’ll definitely be keeping plenty of the favourite dishes and concepts on the menu but we’re also looking at some new offerings and ingredient twists”, says Jason who explains that the restaurant will be closed for a few days in late March for The Pot Luck Club team to immerse themselves in some new menu and wine list items.
Some new dish developments starting to appear on the menu include the already popular Linefish Escabeche with citrus and saffron, basil oil and fresh grapefruit as well as the Chocolate & Passion Fruit dessert that explores chocolate in three formats.
Shared food concept
While there will be some changes on the menu, die-hard The Pot Luck Club fans need not worry that their favourite eatery will transform too much.
“The Pot Luck Club is a concept that is working and I want to add to the experience, not change it”, says Jason.
That said, Jason is excited to be introducing more of the flavours and styles that make him tick “I’ve travelled all over, I was raised on my Italian grandmother’s food and I love Mediterranean food and tapas, so of course my own story is going to come into things, but never to the detriment of the Pot Luck Club experience and legacy”.
And the shared food concept? “Of course that’s staying – it’s what makes the food here such a talking point!” says Jason Kosmas.
As far as Luke is concerned Jason is absolutely set to take the Pot Luck Club to new heights “to work in an already-established restaurant means you need to have a combination of honed skills so you can hit the ground running, natural ability and of course a leadership style that mirrors the culture of the company and I feel Jason has all of these”, says Luke. “I know Jason is the person to take the Pot Luck Club to the next level”, he adds.
For a 20-something chef to have been given the opportunity to work in such a dynamic and challenging environment is no doubt a career high point, one which Jason wholeheartedly embraces.
“It’s an exciting time to be a chef in South Africa and to be working with one of the best in the world, wouldn’t you be excited?” he laughs. See below for The Pot Luck Club Reservations.
What: Chef Jason Kosmas The Pot Luck Club Cape Town
Where: The Pot Luck Club Silo top floor Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Pot Luck Club Reservations: Open one month in advance www.thepotluckclub.co.za
Pot Luck Club opening hours: Monday to Saturday lunch 12:30 – 2.30, dinner 6pm – 10.30pm, Sundays 11am – 3pm