As we start off our tour of Valencia, we’re selecting the best restaurants across the city. We’ll be choosing the restaurants that we feel can’t be beaten in the area. Tried and tested so that you can enjoy them without the hassle of searching for the best.
Situated in the heart of Valencia lies the Michelin Star restaurant: RiFF. The well decorated Spanish restaurant specializes in fashionable European cuisine and Mediterranean food. But one thing in particular that makes this place so special is the owner and head chef, Bernd Knöller.
Having trained and worked across Europe, Bernd Knöller has years of experience behind him. Born in 1962 in Germany, Bernd began his career at the age of 15 as an apprentice at the Ochsen Hotel. It was from here that Bernd found his passion for food and for travel. Three years later he went to work in London at the Kensington International Hilton Hotel, believing that by learning English he would be able to work anywhere in the world.
When he moved to the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester, UK he met Don Gilbert Schneider. He was Head of the Kitchen and showed Bernd that being a chef involved more than just hard work. The Frenchman showed Bernd that cooking including elements of creativity, art and individuality.
From here, Bernd Knöller continued to work across Europe, heading back to Germany as well as working a season in Switzerland. After many years, Bernd took a break from the kitchen. He worried that he was becoming a one trick pony and decided to step out of the culinary world. He spent the next three years working in social work and theatre.
After this break he returned back to his culinary roots. He began work at the 2 star Nösse, on the wonderful island of Sylt.
It was after this that Bernd began his life in Spain. After the huge success of the opening of his restaurant ‘El Angel Azul’ it was clear it was the right move. RiFF opened in September 2001 and has since received many awards including a Michelin star.
The quaint restaurant, offers both an ‘a la carte’ menu and three set menus. Bernd chose a small restaurant so that he can see each customer individually and cook their dishes according to their personality. He set menus provide the opportunity to sample the very best of what the restaurant and the chefs have to offer.
To accompany the food there is, of course, a fine collection of wine. Although most are German wines, there is a good range to accompany your meal.
You can read our review here:
After meeting and having a full conversation with the amazing Chefo Bernd Koller and his experiences and ideas it was an absolute pleasure to have been able to sample the exquisite dishes that he served at the lunchtime and I thoroughly recommend this to anyone visiting Valencia.
The first thing you notice about Bernd is his honesty and friendliness to make the dining an enjoyable experience that means not only can you sit in there as a family but also have a business lunch or a meeting with a client as this is a restaurant that wants to you to take in the ambience and enjoy the meal whilst not feeling you are on show at any time despite it being a Michelin star restaurant.
The meal I had was lengthy in process and explained to me on each course by the excellent waiters and waitresses who were able to explain in detail the ingredients and dishes and how they had been put together.
There was a form of tapas of over five different dishes to begin with ranging from Tuna fish in their own dressings to hot oysters served on a bed of rice and many other dishes that were unique in taste and design like the Cabbage and Turnip shredded to fit into a small bowl that had again unique dressings.
There was even the bread served on bricks and wood that had olive oil particularly sent in from Viver in Castellon so it gave the best olive oil taste you can find as nothing is too much trouble to Bernd and his team.
To complete you gain two dessert dishes and the chocolate mousse with cherries and red wine was incredible and the other one Cake with Citrus oranges that you use to scoop up the finely made cake was terrific in presentation as well as taste.
Overall a wonderful experience that you may not totally like as some dishes are strange in their ingredients but overall a clever and wonderful place to dine out in.
To finalise take advantage of one of Bernd special days where you can be with him all day go to the markets and the fish ones in particular…cook in the kitchen with him and overall have a special day eating there as well and understanding the way he prepares and puts together the meals each day and his personality shines through and give him a call and see if you can also have a wonderful experience.
To view the menu or to make a booking visit: http://www.restaurante-riff.com/reserve/