Just 6 months after opening Reuben’s, Riffel scooped top honours at the 2004 Eat Out Restaurant Awards, winning both Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. Today, a decade after opening, the restaurant is undoubtedly a Franschhoek dining landmark and attracts geusts from all corners of the globe.
In 2009, Riffel opened his second Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel, a five star boutique country hotel situated in the Robertson wine valley along the popular Route 62. Shortly thereafter, a third Reuben’s was established at the prestigious One&Only Cape Town, an urban-chic international resort in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, in 2010. In 2013, Riffel added to his restaurant portfolio once more with the opening of Reuben’s at Abalone House, a five star luxury guesthouse in the seaside town of Paternoster. He also opened his first bistro-style eatery, Racine, at Chamonix Wine Estate in Franschhoek that same year.
Riffel, renowned for his culinary prowess, describes his cuisine as eclectic and unpretentious. There is an honest simplicity to the food he serves throughout his restaurants, underpinned by his focus on the finest seasonal produce sourced from nearby suppliers. His philosophy is to keep things uncomplicated, bringing out the natural flavours of each ingredient, and to strive for perfect balance in the finished dish.
In addition to his successful restaurant portfolio, Riffel has also published 3 best-selling cookbooks (Reuben Cooks ; Reuben Cooks Local ; Braai: Reuben on Fire ) and hosted his first Afrikaans cooking show, 5 Sterre met Reuben, in 2013 - a 13-part television series that received high acclaim. He is well-known as the face of Robertsons Herbs & Spices, and is a brand ambassador for Samsung Home Applicances iin South Africa