Wesley Randles

Meet Wesley Randles. The man behind the mouth-watering dishes at La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, Potluck Club and now The Shortmarket Club. We get to pick Wesley’s brain as he shares with us the ins and outs on what its actually like to run a kitchen.

Few people know how tough the restaurant business is – if you’re one of the fortunate few who don’t go under in the first year, you definitely need to be applauded. It’s been said it is one of the most back-breaking businesses you could possibly get into. Restaurants are often at the mercy of the season and the economy, and a change in one of these could easily sink your ship. Completely daunting, but here’s a man who has done it and came out on top.

Design by Kim van Vuuren

How do you pick your team in the kitchen?

The majority of my guys have been working with me for 2-3 years. I replaced their positions at Test and Pot Luck a couple months ago. Its been a year of strategic planing. My team is very young with huge potential and heaps of passion for their craft. This is the reason I picked them. They are a beacon for the future of Cape Town’s food scene.

What’s the go-to thing you cook for yourself? Your comfort food? 

 The go to for us is miso soup and sushi rice – its a humble comfort food.

What, in your opinion, is the one technique an everyday man should master in the kitchen? 

The technique every man should master is to enjoy spending time in the kitchen. If you have the drive, good food is easy.

Famous House of Machines Hotdogs
Famous House of Machines Hotdogs

Favourite cheap eat?

The House of Machines hot dogs. AWESOME.

Biggest influences?

 Luke Dale-Roberts is my biggest influence . He has mentored me for almost 9 years. His thought process and approach to food is incredible and his work ethic is even stronger.

Biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?

 Chefs that don’t taste their own food. They went to culinary school to learn to cook but never learnt to taste, it boggles my mind.

Favorite customer?

 Every person that comes up and says thanks to my team. Such a small thing puts a silly little grin on all the chefs faces.


What is your specialty or signature dish?

 There is no signature dishes, I love them all. The menu will be ever changing, so in the name of progression a signature can’t exist.

What are the tools of the trade you use most? What are your favourite kitchen gadgets?

 Japanese steel is my favourite. No fancy gadget will compare to a beautiful hand folded Japanese knife.

Other than creating great food, what are the most important qualities that make a successful chef?

 Originality and always think out the box. Also, spend time listening to your customers – they are the ones that will define you restaurant at the end of the day.

Chef Wesley Randles and Restauranteur Simon Waddison
Chef Wesley Randles and Restauranteur Simon Waddison


Book at The Shortmarket Club by giving them a call on 021 447 2874 or book online.

Walk ins are welcome on a ‘first come first serve’ base

88 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town


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