Chef Reuben Riffel

Book your place at the couch for SABC2’s new reality cooking show, ProeFessioneel, hosted by Chef Reuben Riffel.
The show started last Wednesday and in weeks to come, will see 20 culinary students compete against each other in a mystery box cooking challenge.
The ultimate winner will go home with R150 000 in prize and a job opportunity to make their career dreams a reality.
Riffel said being given the opportunity to host such a competition was an absolute privilege but he had to restrain from helping the contestants during the cook-offs.
“I enjoy working with students and youngsters, but sometimes I want to jump in and help with the cooking. Each contestant has 70 minutes to produce one dish as well as pair a wine in the mystery basket challenge. There is ostrich, seafood, topside and other interesting vegetables in the boxes and. The prominent South African guest judge is the only judge that they have to impress to get a chance to work in their kitchens. It’s exciting to watch and very pressurizing for the contestants,” said Riffel.
Students are not only judged on the presentation and taste of their dishes, but also on their passion, attitude, skills, creativity, completion of the challenge, wine selection, work ethics and culinary knowledge.
In each of these categories they receive a point out of 10 and the student with the highest score out of 100 goes through to the finals.
And unfortunately if they don’t make the cut, they go home empty handed.
“During the competition, I want to see real skill and their ability to think on their feet and it goes without saying, delicious food with some flair. Contestants should plan properly before starting the cook and stay the course. There’s just no time to second guess yourself,” he said.
Riffle said he would like to see contestants prepare a fresh dish, with clever use of textures and colour with intense flavour.
And, when asked what was the one dish that will win his heart over, he said “If cooked well, a rack of lamb with smoked aubergine, lamb jus and potato gratin,”.
Viewers also stand a chance to win prizes to the value of R350 000 by preparing their favourite dish and uploading a photo of themselves with their dish to Instagram with the hashtag #IsDitProfessioneel and tag @SamsungSA as well as @Proefessioneel.
* ProeFessioneel airs on SABC2 on Wednesdays at 7pm.