I loved Reuben Riffel’s first cookbook, ‘Reuben Cooks’.
Its easy style and wonderful photography were an insight into the man, and you really got a feel for his personal and food philosophy from reading it.
So it’s with great interest that I’ll drool over the pages of his second book, “Reuben Cooks Local”, which goes on sale on Monday at R390.
The Doyenne of South African food writing, Jos Baker, sums it all up nicely;
‘The easy instructions allow you to capture the flavours of South Africa —whether from sea, earth, field or orchard — simply and successfully in your own kitchen, producing dishes guaranteed to become instant favourites with family and friends’
These are the factors that made his first book such a treat – easy to follow instructions and dishes that people want to eat. Add to that stunning photography from Craig Fraser and you’ve got one of those ‘must have’ books for your cookery bookshelf.
Reuben’s book co incides with the launch of his spring menu, and dishes that will find their way on to the menu there from the pages of the book are beef carpaccio with quails eggs, white onion and anchovy paste, port-glazed springbok steak with celeraic and apple puree and fig salsa.
The emphasis is on locally available produce – and Reuben draws on his childhood memories of tinned corn to create dishes such as seared miso scallops on creamy mielie puree. There are chapters on seafood, food from the earth, orchards and vines. In other words, the food of the Cape.
“Although the book is different I wanted it to be a continuation of the first one and I think we have achieved that with the food stories,” says Riffel. “I also wanted to do dishes that are slightly uncommon, that we don’t see every day while recognizing all our local suppliers of good produce.”
Available in all good bookstores in South Africa, and from www.kalahari.net