Saturday, March 23

Masters of the stove at work and at home

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Two of South Africa’s most loved chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood and Reuben Riffel, talk fathers, kitchens, appliances and cooking.

Two of South Africa’s most loved chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood and Reuben Riffel, talk fathers, kitchens, appliances and cooking.

What does your kitchen look like? 
RR It’s an open kitchen with central island for prepping and serving. I like gadgets so I’ve got quite a lot of that to play with.
PGW Unfortunately my kitchen at home is a little lacklustre – a bit like the mechanic with the car on blocks, or the plumber with the dodgy toilet handle. We’re also currently living in rented premises so my dream kitchen is on hold for now.
Do you do most of the cooking at home? 
RR I wish, but no. My wife more, but I did set up the kitchen so I don’t miss all the equipment I have at work.
PGW I do. My wife has a theory of why bark when you have your own dog.
Have you found men becoming more involved in the kitchen? 
RR This has been going on for a while. It is no longer the exclusive domain of the moms, wives and girlfriends. Men are increasingly doing more of the cooking. I make this assumption purely based on people I engage with.
What is your favourite thing to cook and eat at home?
RR I love making pasta, gnocchi and ice creams.
PGW Braaing is my first love. Now that it’s finally all cold and wintery, I really like making Indian food.
What’s the one appliance in the kitchen you could not live without?
RR My Kitchen Aid mixer.
PGW My Le Creuset pots and pans.

South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel. File picture: Robert Miller/One&Only Resorts

What do you love about the design of your kitchen at home?
RR It is open and easy for more than one person to cook in there. I’ve got a big La Canche orange cooker that stands out but does the job.
Did you have the final say about what your home kitchen would look like?
RR No, my wife had a lot of input.
PGW If only.
What is the one thing you won’t compromise on in a kitchen?
RR Great Wusthoff knives, a proper heavy cutting board, and my range of non stick Le Creuset pans.
PGW Quality is always paramount. The kitchen is exactly like the workshop – if you buy good tools and look after them, you’ll never need to replace them.
What do you want from your kids for Father’s Day?
RR Although it’s great to get a thoughtful gift, time with my kids around a table is most important to me.
What is the one thing you thank your dad most for?
RR My dad always made sure we never wanted for anything, even though we had very little.
PGW My father’s fantastic work ethic is something I will always strive to replicate. I was a teenager when my parents divorced and I lived with my father. We threw elaborate dinner parties so we’ve cooked together quite a bit. He will tell you he taught me everything I know, and he is still very critical of my curries.
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