Hans Rueffert

Did you know?

Says Hans: "Some people have soundtracks to their lives …I have a menu. When I eat gravlax, it’s 1982 and I’m with my Uncle Wolfgang in Trondheim, Norway; banana pudding and fried okra and I’m in my grandmother’s kitchen in Atlanta."

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Hans Rueffert is a restaurateur and the host of Hans Cooks the South, which airs on Georgia’s public television station. He is the author of Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow and filmed a companion PBS show for Georgia Public Television in 2011.


Hans' recent battle and ultimate victory over stomach cancer was documentetd by both CNN and the Huffington Post.


In July of 2005, just two weeks after taping the finale for the Next Food Network Star, he learned of the diagnosis. The irony that a chef would contract stomach cancer was not lost on him or his physicians. Hans wrote openly about his battle with cancer in his book and on his blog and today says if there is one lesson he learned from the ordeal is: “Never take anything for granted. Never.”


In the spring of 2012 he will lead a culinary tour to north Italy, Slovenia and Austria.


He has been hooked on cooking on television since he was invited to be a guest on a local cooking show called Flavors of the South. At that time, he realized he wanted to do his own thing in front of the camera.


In 2004, the Ellijay Telephone Company gave him that opportunity with In the Kitchen with Hans. He taped nine episodes before accepting a full-time position with the company as the host of a new local news program called North Georgia Now. Shortly after that show began, he was selected to appear as a finalist on the Next Food Network Star, finishing third. He went on to produce Hans Cooks the World, which won three Telly awards. In 2007 he taped Hans Cooks the Holidays, which led to Hans Cooks the South.


Hans insists he is not an expert on anything but it’s his love of food that decided his profession. He grew up in North Georgia living above “the store” — or in rooms above his parents North Georgia landmark restaurant, the Woodbridge Inn, which he now runs and where he cooks.


When he was a kid, it was not unusual for him to be called into the restaurant to shuck oysters or wash dishes, sometimes in his pajamas! He recalls that when he or his sister needed help with homework, they carried their books into the kitchen to consult their dad between pick-ups. Because of this, Hans calls himself a “restaurant boy,” something he writes about in his cookbook.



Hans teaches cooking regularly at Piedmont Hospital's Cancer Wellness Center in Atlanta.


Hans, his wife and two children, live in Georgia. His website is www.hanscooks.com.

See Hans's Recipes

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