• Course Overview

    The Prue Leith Chefs Academy is very proud to offer a joint programme in partnership with Italy’s premiere culinary training institution, ALMA – La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana, in Colorno (Parma – Italy).

    In July 2011, Prue Leith and ALMA embarked upon this joint programme, the likes of which has never before been seen in the South African culinary industry.

    The program gives enthusiastic young South African chef students the opportunity to train both locally and abroad, with a level of convenience and a similar cost structure to a course taking place entirely in South Africa.

    Qualified chefs wishing to specialise in Italian cuisine can also apply and will only complete the Italian part of the course, with introductory subjects at Prue Leith Chefs Academy.

    Effectively, for any prospective student wishing to follow a career focused on Italian cuisine and culture as well as the French culinary cornerstones, this international collaboration opens the door to seven months of full time study and practical experience in Italy, as well as six months of City & Guilds approved foundational training in South Africa.

    ALMA has identified Prue Leith Chefs Academy as the benchmark Academy in Southern Africa to include in its international network of renowned culinary partner schools.

    As part of an international network, the Prue Leith-ALMA partnership not only provides a full immersion into Italian food and culture, but also allows for greater international exposure for both the Academy and our students.


    • Approx. 13 Months ( Full Time )


    • July Intake Only


    • Matric/Grade 12 qualification.
    • Strong independent personality with an overwhelming passion for food!

    Course Options

    There are two options available for this programme:

    • Option A: For candidates with no professional culinary experience.
    • Option B: For qualified chefs wishing to specialise in Italian cuisine (Excludes foundational training segment)

  • First Semester

    Full time training for six months at Prue Leith Chefs Academy (South Africa)

    • First Aid and Fire Safety
    • WSET Level 1 Wine and Spirit Courses
    • Foundational training in all kitchen sections: Hot Kitchen, Cold Kitchen, Pastry , Finance and Restaurant Service
    • Italian language classes taught by the Italian Institute of Culture (2 x 2 hour evening classes per week for two months).
    • Introductory Italian food and culture classes (5 x 3 hour afternoon classes)

    Second Semester

    Full time training in Italy at ALMA for two months

    • Italian regional cuisine and culture
    • Italian products and raw materials
    • Guest chef demonstrations by top Italian chefs from different regions
    • Cooking techniques and practice
    • Wines of Italy
    • Italian Pastry
    • Italian language
    • Visits to food production sites.


    Practical Internship in Italy

    Five month stage: Students are placed at top establishments throughout Italy to gain practical experience in the work environment. Students will be working the hours required by the operation and are provided with accommodation as well as meals, but are not paid during this period.

  • Qualifications & Examinations

    Tests can be expected throughout the course in all subjects and  nal exams will take place at ALMA at the end of July/ August.

    Successful candidates will achieve :

    • Prue Leith-ALMA Diploma in Italian Cuisine
    • City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (8065-01)
    • WSET Level 1 Wine and Spirit Courses
    • Level 1 First Aid Certificate and Fire Awareness Certificate

  • Course Times

    The full course duration is approximately 13 months and includes shift work / evening shifts.

    • Foundational kitchen training: July to December.
    • Evening introductory Italian and language classes: October until end November
    • Italian leg of the programme: Early January every year with graduation in July/August.


  • Course Costs

    Course costs include:

    • Tuition, equipment and uniforms, exam costs and all ingredients required for training.
    • Accommodation for seven months while in Italy
    • Accommodation (not rooms) is generally shared.
    • One meal a day from Monday to Friday during studies at ALMA as well as staff meals when on stage (practical placement).
    • Costs do not include flights to and from Italy.

    Visa & Work Permits

    Students wishing to enrol for the joint program must have a valid passport. Visa arrangements are facilitated by Prue Leith with ALMA’s assistance. Issuing of visas is at the discretion of the relevant Italian consular office. Passports must be delivered 75 days in advance of arrival in Italy. Visit www.alma.scuolacucina.it for more information on ALMA.

  • Request Application Form

    I'm Interested!

    Please send me my application pack for
    ALMA “Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine”

    Please note, by requesting this course pack your details will be automatically added to our mailing list and we will send you updates from time to time.

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