Celebrating 21 years of
Perfecting Professional Patisserie Chef Training at Prue Leith Chefs Academy
The role of a patisserie chef is essential in a modern, professional restaurant kitchen, since it is a speciality. Most pastry diners associate the art and science of pastry making with the delicious desserts that complete a great meal, or the scrumptious baked delights and treats presented at teatime. However, few give much thought to the training, knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise required in order to become a successful patisserie chef, or for that matter, a competent modern chef who has the knowledge to create a variety of dishes of various types and styles of cuisine. In their training, both the chef who cooks and bakes, as well as the pastry chef, who focuses on patisserie creations, begin by first mastering classic French techniques and cooking methods.
The now-renowned classic French Culinary Method, as taught at Prue Leith Chefs Academy in Centurion, Gauteng, is incorporated in the first modules of our professional chefs’ courses, irrespective of whether the student goes on to specialise in patisserie chef training or not. Mastery of this method is a foremost step for aspiring chefs. Georges Auguste Escoffier, a famous French chef of note, restauranteur, and author of numerous culinary works, created the French techniques still employed as a foundation by culinary schools and chefs throughout the world of food today, the better part of 100 years after his death in 1935. In essence, Escoffier’s technique streamlined the haute or grand cuisine techniques of his great predecessors, adapting these methods by making them simpler and modernising them.
Prue Leith Chef Training
At Prue Leith’s culinary school in South Africa, our professional patisserie chef training courses are designed to accommodate students who have no formal chef training or qualifications whatsoever, as well as qualified chefs who wish to specialise in the art of patisserie, or add an additional speciality to their existing qualifications.
Because an existing chef qualification is a prerequisite for enrolment in our specialised patisserie chefs’ training course, novice aspirant patisserie chefs are required to enrol at Prue Leith for 18 months of full-time study. A more basic 18-month part-time training option is also on offer with a January intake only. The first 12 months’ full-time programme qualifies successful students with the Occupational Certificate: Cook and a City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (Level 1 First Aid & Fire is also included). For the next six months, the curriculum focuses on patisserie. Once the full 18-month course is successfully completed, graduates are ready for an entry-level patisserie chef’s position, armed with a City & Guild Diploma and a national Certificate in Patisserie, and several sought-after, accredited Prue Leith certificates relevant to patisserie.
Suitably qualified chefs enrol for the 6-month, full-time training programme, commencing in January and June, as described above, after which they are also equipped for an entry-level patisserie chef’s position. The creative opportunities for a well-trained Prue Leith patisserie chef are virtually endless. As a leading culinary school in this country, your perfect patisserie is proof of your (and our) success.