Chef Reuben Riffel adds gourment clout to weddings and corporate events at Allee Bleue

Allée Bleue Wine Estate is arguably one of the most sought-after and versatile venues in the Cape winelands, staging glamorous weddings, high-end corporate events and new product launches throughout the year. As part of the estate’s philosophy to continually innovate and improve on everything it offers, Allée Bleue is pleased to announce an exciting collaboration with celebrity chef, Reuben Riffel – Franschhoek’s most famous export.

As one of South Africa’s best-loved chefs, Riffel oversees three successful restaurants, has written a clutch of award-winning cookbooks and is a well-known face in the media. The Franschhoek valley is where Riffel grew up and started his career as a chef, so it comes as no surprise that he is looking forward to putting an authentic local stamp on the collection of menus created exclusively for Allée Bleue and paired to the estate’s respected wines.

The menus for all weddings and functions hosted by Allée Bleue will be conceptualised and produced by Reuben’s Franschhoek under the direction of Riffel and his head chef Maritz Jacobs. This highly experienced and creative duo places great emphasis on using fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients in dishes that are often given an authentic Cape twist. Says Riffel: ‘Allée Bleue is not only a perfect function venue but also a working farm with amazing fresh produce, like herbs, olives and fruit, all of which can be woven into our menus. I like the idea of offering personalised menus with a strong local provenance and integrity, using ingredients sourced from the estate or from surrounding farms. Menu options will celebrate the abundance and beauty of South Africa, particularly the Franschhoek valley which is obviously close to my heart’.

General Manager for Allée Bleue, Wolfgang Leyrer, is looking forward to working with the team from Reuben’s. ‘We are in the centre of the Cape winelands, a region that has developed a highly sophisticated food and wine culture in recent years. By offering our clients the personal services of a well-known chef like Reuben Riffel to plan their menus, we are tapping into a growing demand for gourmet food that goes beyond the ordinary and becomes a talking point. Naturally, teaming up with Riffel also offers Allée Bleue a wonderful opportunity to showcase our estate-produced wines and celebratory bubblies.’

While Allée Bleue has a dedicated in-house event management team, the estate also works closely with hand-picked event coordinators, such as Wedding Concepts and the Aleit Group. For couples planning their big day from afar, handing over every little detail of the wedding to a team of local experts provides peace of mind. Wedding Concepts is particularly well known for creating exquisite tented weddings for large numbers, complete with luxury styling and designer touches.

The estate’s lavender and rose-fringed lawns and fragrant orchards provide diverse locations for open-air or tented ceremonies, al fresco drinks, photographic shoots and receptions ranging from elegantly simple to all-out lavish. For weddings of between 50 and 120 guests, the newly refurbished Courtyard venue has a romantic Bedouin tent roof, views of the vineyards and the option of using the inter-leading Shiraz Room as a bar, lounge or buffet venue. Le Grand Hall is the estate’s flagship, 350-seater ballroom with abundant natural light and a wonderful indoor-outdoor flow thanks to multiple floor-to-ceiling doors. Innovative lighting creates different moods by day and night and the sound technology is cutting edge.