After stints at various restaurants, Reuben was once again reunited with his old mentor, Richard – this time at Monneaux, and continued to experiment with different textures and flavours. This, and a few trips abroad has helped to trust his palate and he learned to cook instinctively and with a feel for what is required from the individual ingredients.
While at Monneaux, Reuben was invited to run the kitchen at a restaurant in Cambridge, England. Accompanied by his partner, now wife, Maryké, he jumped at the opportunity.
With his skills learned on the building sites with his father, he helped to finish construction on the building before he could take his position as head chef at what became Bruno’s Brasserie.
By digging in his heals and insisting on creating “extraordinary” food, Bruno’s attracted a following amongst Cambridge’s upper crust despite its’ less glamourous setting in a lower rent part of town.
This experience has not only helped the young chef broaden his horizons through frequent European travels and working with English, Irish and Eastern cuisine, but also helped him appreciate the tastes and flavours that he grew up with.
When friends offered him the opportunity to run his own restaurant bearing his own name in his own home town, Reuben and Maryké bid England adieu and returned to Franschhoek.
The Reuben’s sign went up, the doors opened and accolades came flowing in from near and far. Reuben seems unaffected by the limelight preferring to create fine yet unpretentious cuisine that evokes memories of the early days growing up in Groendal.