Reuben Riffel on being a successful businessman and award-winning chef

Celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV personality - Reuben Riffel has a lot on his plate, so to speak.

To mark International Chefs Day, CapeTalk's Zain Johnson speaks to the owner of Reuben's Restaurant about how he manages to combine being a businessman with being an award-winning chef.

The trick, says Riffel, is to learn to take a step back and start trusting people, while still staying true to your passion.

I try and stay attached still to the fact that I'm a chef and do what I love.

Reuben Riffel, Chef and restaurateur

Keeping abreast of the latest trends is part of the job, as is learning to understand what style of food is suited to you and what clients come to expect of you.

I tell youngsters it's one thing to say I'm cooking dishes my mum used to cook and serving that up in a restaurant, but in a way that's not enough and you've got to keep yourself sharp.

Reuben Riffel, Chef and restaurateur

It's one thing to go on the internet and look for things, but the real thing is to test things, to cook. Cooking is also a lot to do with instinct and the more you do it, the more you teach and evolve your palate.

Reuben Riffel, Chef and restaurateur

Riffel says refining his restaurants' dishes is a process of evolution rather than inventing something completely new.

It's not always about creating something new from scratch. It's always something you know is a good base in terms of the flavour and taking it to the next level or in a different direction.

Reuben Riffel, Chef and restaurateur

What are his tips for everyday cooks?

The award-winning chef advises building up a stock of ingredients so that the necessaries are available in your own kitchen when you want to try out something new. Also invest in the best quality kitchen equipment you can afford.

He says there's also a lot to the cliché "keep it simple", with quality ingredients the key to good cooking.

It's not just going into a shop and buying whatever - you need to get the best quality of what's out there and obviously also see what you can afford.

Reuben Riffel, Chef and restaurateur

Listen to the conversation with Riffel here:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Reuben Riffel on being a successful businessman and award-winning chef


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