Luck, passion, hard work and the support of family, friends and key investors make up the ingredients in the success story of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel.
From the streets of Groendaal in the Western Cape to the award-winning kitchens both here and abroad, Reuben’s story is the hallmark for what dreams are made of.
Knowing that he wanted to work with his hands, he chartered an unfamilar path, working his way up as a waiter to working in the kitchen. Many of his skills were honed learning from one of the greats, Richard Carstens, before finally heading up his own kitchen and staff.
A dream was realised when he got a call to head up a new restaurant in the student town of Cambridge in London. Leaving the familairity of South Africa, he and his partner Maryka lived and worked in London, where Reuben further honed his craft and made a name for himself as a star-studded chef. His renown grew thanks to his special attention to a unique blend of sauces and tastes.
After a two-year stint, Reuben and Maryka returned to South Africa with the opportunity to have his name on the front door and his trademark in the kitchen. Reuben’s lies in the heart of wine and cuisine in Franschoek, amomgst some of the finest and most recognised restaurants.
His star continued to rise when billionaire and hotel owner, Sol Kerzner, invited him to add more to his plate by being head chef in one of his hotel’s resturants. Five years later, his star is as bright as ever.
Together with Maryka, he has authored several best-selling cookbooks. His food, his restaurants and his part as judge in MasterChef SA, continues to cement Reuben’s name in the hearts of South Africans as one of the country’s most recognisable faces associated with good food.