Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel has been serving wholesome bistro fare since 2010 at his first and only urban restaurant, Reuben’s, at the luxurious One&Only Cape Town. Famed for his unpretentious style of cooking, using only the finest seasonal produce from local suppliers, Reuben’s menu celebrates the Cape’s rich culinary heritage. Reuben describes his cuisine as honest and uncomplicated.
His restaurant at One&Only complements his other four rural restaurants in Franschhoek and the Cape winelands. With 20 years’ experience under his belt and numerous awards, Reuben has also produced three cook books and appeared on various culinary TV programmes including MasterChef South Africa.
Growing up in a family who insisted on spending time together and eating well, Reuben learnt how food can bind people together. The family regularly ate food grown on their own land, thereby instilling in the chef-to-be the values of locally sourced produce.
After a brief stint in the building trade, Reuben joined the waiting staff at Chamonix Wine Farm Franschhoek. He soon migrated to the kitchen, where, under the brilliant, classical chef and disciplinarian, Christoph Dehosse, he learned the basics about food preparation. The highly creative and eccentric Richard Carstens took over and made the young Reuben his sous chef. Without warning, Richard failed to show up one day and Reuben found himself left to run the kitchen on his own. He stepped up to the plate and the compliments started pouring in. Richard never returned to Chamonix and Reuben took over where he left off.
Later Reuben was reunited with his old mentor, Richard, this time at Monneaux Restaurant Franschhoek, where he established the restaurant as one of the top 100 restaurants in SA, winning the Eat Out Awards over four consecutive years. After honing his skills at Monneaux, Reuben was invited to run the kitchen at Bruno’s Brasserie in Cambridge, England where he gained more rave reviews, adding to his growing following.
In 2004, Reuben moved back to SA to start his own restaurant (suitably named Reuben’s) in Franschhoek, and the accolades came flowing in.
Reuben will be expanding the braai concept at One&Only Cape Town to bring the local South African culture of open fire cooking into the resort.
Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town: 021 431 4511 or email: [email protected]