Reuben Riffel is one of South Africa’s top chefs. He is a shining light of a local boy made good, from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the South African food industry.  Today he is  owner of Reuben’s Restuarant in Franschhoek, and concept chef at Reuben’s One & Only Cape Town as well as the Robertson Small Hotel.

And to crown of all, he has also produced two books.  In his latest, Reuben Cooks Local he has taken South African ingredients from snoek to skilpadjies and given them his own unique twist – skilpadjies, usually a snack cooked over the coals, is here elegantly presented on a green pea mash with a muscadel jus, or seared miso scallops on creamy mielie puree, elevating the ingredients to a totally new level.

The book is divided into chapters from the sea, field, earth, orchard, wild and vine. Although I’m not totally in favour of the way the book has been divided up, the recipes are nonetheless inspirational.  This is not another traditional South African cookbook, but rather a book taking traditional South African ingredients and cooking styles, and reinterpreting them for the modern kitchen.

And apart from the recipes, the book has also been beautifully designed by Quivertree, and photographed by their in-house photographer, Craig Fraser, who is also a true master of his craft. The book will inspire you in the kitchen, and also make a superb corporate gift for international clients.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R312 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R390)!  Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School subscribers an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%, a total saving of R78.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.