Added Luxury on Google+ Added Luxury: Reuben’s Culinary Weekends in the Franschhoek Valley

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Reuben’s Culinary Weekends in the Franschhoek Valley

Food doesn’t have to be fancy and extravagant to be delicious. If you have a really good peach or apricot, you want to retain that taste, so you should do as little as possible to it. Too much messing about with food makes it lose its identity, its essence. It shows a lack of respect for the items you’re cooking. I believe in looking for new ways to do things, but simplicity is always the key.”
– Reuben Riffel Chef de Cuisine

With a passion for creating fine yet uncomplicated cuisine and a laid back setting to match, you’re invited to experience Reuben’s. The menu offers staunch favourites as well as specials that are updated daily to take advantage of the finest ingredients on the market. With Restraurants located in Roberston and The One & Only Cape Town . The premier venue is in Franschhoek, the heart of South Africa’s winelands, its wine list is the envy of any connoisseur. Reuben’s restaurant and bar combines all the ingredients for the perfect get together.

Cook with the masterchef.

If you’ re a culinary enthusiast, enjoy being wined & dined and want to cook with Chef Reuben Riffel , go ahead and treat a group of friends, family or colleagues. Everyone will be treated as a VIP and no expense is spared. These courses are well planned for the master chefs among us and for anyone wanting to get away from microwave meals. Sign up for Culinary Weekends in the Franschhoek valley.

Meet the New Executive Chef at Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel

A gourmet gem of the Breede River Valley takes pride in lending culinary bliss to this 5-star boutique hotel in the eponymous town of Robertson. Reuben’s at The Robertson sizzles with a newly appointed Executive Chef, Emile Fortuin. Protégé of South Africa’s best-known culinary success stories, Reuben Riffel, Emile stays true to his mentor’s simple food philosophy. Giving adventurous taste to traditional Cape cuisine by inffusing it with his home-grown tastes and produce he experienced while growing up.

Matriculating in 2006, Emile was discovered while working briefly at the Bread and Wine Restaurant in Franschhoek by its owner Susan Huxter, who also owns world-renowned Le Quartier Francais luxury hotel. Without any formal training and culinary qualifications under his belt.

 “I was peeping through a wooden fence to see what the charcuterie chef, Neil Jewell, was doing and Susan saw me and offered me an in-house training job at her 5-star hotel on the spot. During that period I met the likes of world-renowned culinary genius, Margot Janse, Executive Chef of Le Quartier Français and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef á La Motte and this is then when my passion for cooking really ignited,” shares an enthused chef.

In search of an adventurous culinary career, Emile joined Reuben’s Restaurant in Franschhoek in 2008 working his way from barman to assistant chef before filling the shoes of Executive Chef. “I still remember the day when I asked Reuben if I could join his kitchen team. He handed me a chef’s jacket and a 10 kg bag of potatoes and he told me that I have ten minutes to peel all the potatoes and seven days to prove myself worthy in his kitchen. I’m forever grateful for the life-changing opportunity he gave me,” adds Emile.

Today, with the guidance of Reuben as concept chef, Emile is ready to set his own course at the luxurious ten-suite hotel. Fully aware of the latest gastronomic trends, he aims to create a feast of unpretentious dishes with a sustainable conscience by using the finest indigenous and heritage ingredients – and transforming them into contemporary sensations that saturate the senses.

“Today, sustainability is created and supported by having your own vegetable and herb garden or even breeding your own fish, and then serving it in your restaurant. It is the way to go. I explore with new meat cuts and reduce our carbon footprint by relying heavily on local produce,” adds Emile.

Emile’s innovative cuisine enhances the overall Reuben’s dining experience by offering an elegant yet country-style affair with a touch of local flare. Guests dining at the relaxed, bistro-style venue can look forward to a myriad of hearty temptations on his ever-changing Winter Menu. In full view of the chef at work from his open-plan kitchen.

Think rustic Green Bean Stew, Warm Beef Tongue Salad with black pudding or an earthy Mushroom Consommé. Carnivores will love his Braised Oxtail with Mascarpone soft polenta and crispy beacon while his signature Pork Belly aims to please palates all season long. His Potato Spinach Cakes served with a traditional Cape-style tomato smoortjie (a thick smothering-styled sauce) highlights a comforting vegetarian lineup. Mood-uplifting desserts include a Grand Marnier Orange soufflé enriched with Klipdrift gold chocolate foam and a warm Jan Ellis pudding with spiced custard and Bulgarian yoghurt ice cream.

During the winter months, open daily for breakfast and dinner whilst private lunch and dinner parties and group bookings can also be reserved. Bookings are essential. To reserve your table contact the restaurant at Tel: (+27)23 626 7200 or email

The Robertson Small Hotel

Voted Best Country Luxury Hotel in South Africa at the 2011 World Luxury Hotel Awards, chic sophistication meets old-world charm in a gracious 1909 Victorian manor at this luxurious 5-star country retreat. Situated in the heart of the scenic Breede River Valley a mere 90-minute drive from Cape Town. 

With 10 spacious luxury en-suite bedrooms, a gourmet signature restaurant, a wellness room, tranquil gardens and shimmering pools. Offering unsurpassed attention to detail and country hospitality at its most refined, the understated elegance of this boutique hotel is refreshingly unique. A celebration of modern design and fusion of eclectic yet comfortable furnishings reflecting an appreciation for space. These deluxe suites provide solace for the soul, but are also fitted with the latest technology to cater for the needs of the trendy traveller and businessman.