Despite a lack of formal training, Reuben Riffel has matured into one of South Africa’s premier chefs.

His restaurant, Reuben’s, scooped top honours at the 2004 Eat Out Johnnie Walker restaurant awards, winning both chef of the year and restaurant of the year. His first opportunity to run his own kitchen came when he was in his early twenties. He helped to establish the Monneaux restaurant as one of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa. After three years at Monneaux he moved to Cambridge, England, to run another award-winning restaurant before returning to South Africa to start his own restaurant with partners.

Riffel’s cuisine is eclectic, with a focus on the best local and seasonal produce available.

His philosophy is simple: create extraordinary food with familiar ingredients that people know and love.

Lunch Spot: 95 Keerom, Cape Town