Celebrating 21 years of
South Africa’s Leading School of Food and Wine – Prue Leith Chefs Academy
If you have a keen eye for detail, are creative, enjoy being innovative, and have a passion for all things related to food, wine, and dining, you may find a career as a professional chef fulfilling, but you have to go about it the right way to get the qualifications that will stand you in good stead in the future.
From Good to Great
Everybody knows that good wine is an essential part of dine dining and that wines are lovingly created by winemakers’ vision, palate, and innovative experimentation, similar to the creation of fine food. Enjoying a glass of wine in the company of friends is one of life’s pleasures; likewise, sharing good food with good company. The combination of all of these – good company, fine wine, and gourmet cuisine – is a great experience behind which lies a great deal of education and training, and this is where Prue Leith Chefs Academy comes in.
Our Patron and Founders
This brings us to the patron of our outstanding school of food and wine, Prue Leith, CBE. Prue and our three founders are people who are passionate about the significance and pleasure of food and wine pairing. Our founders were intimately involved in the hospitality industry, but repeatedly experienced difficulties in finding suitably qualified and experienced professional chefs for their kitchens. On numerous occasions, chefs had to be imported from overseas, but this did not always work out satisfactorily either. Something had to be done.
Not being people who sat idle, bewailing the status quo, they jointly decided to address their concerns and operational challenges by establishing a professional school of food and wine in Centurion, conveniently located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. This school was to educate and train professional chefs to their exacting standards, providing both their own establishments and the South African hospitality industry at large with talented, competent chefs, who could produce fine food, perfectly paired with world-class wines. By 1997, the school was ready to open its doors to begin educating and training new chefs, but one vital element was still missing – an instantly recognisable, highly reputable name for the school.
Prue Leith, CBE
One particular name proved to be a winner – Prue Leith Chefs Academy. For the first time ever, Prue permitted the use of her name by a third party – our new school of food and wine. In the lead-up to the admission of our first student chefs, our founders approached Prue with their idea and school curricula. The rest, as they say, is history. We still consult with Prue when important decisions have to be taken. Prue is a South African-born chef who has managed her own Michelin-starred restaurant in London. Her other praiseworthy accomplishments are numerous, many of them food-related. Today, this lady is formally known as Prue Leith, CBE, previously the distinguished holder of an OBE award.
Upholding the Name – Prue Leith, CBE
Our school of food and wine, Prue Leith Chefs Academy, continues to educate and train outstanding professional chefs in this country. Our commitment and dedication remain constant, as does upholding our name and that of our patron – Prue Leith, CBE.