Regularly rated as the finest chefs training institution in South Africa by top chefs and industry professionals, the Prue Leith Chefs Academy continues to go from strength to strength. Passion, excellence, creativity, expertise, leading edge and tradition make for an exceptional combination and are some of the core values the Prue Leith Chefs Academy believes in. It is because of these values that the Prue Leith Chefs Academy (formerly the Prue Leith College of Food and Wine), has few equals. It is known and valued by it’s peers in the food industry for being a centre for world class culinary education and we in turn are doing the best we can to ensure that the ability and passion of our young chefs in South Africa backs our peers and industry leader’s views.
Since 1997, the Prue Leith Chefs Academy has trained world-class chefs who have worked in famous kitchens all around the world including Jamie Oliver’s, the Roux brothers and Gordon Ramsay’s. The superior standards of education are constantly monitored and improved where necessary to ensure that our students get the best possible chefs training available. This constant progression ensures that our graduates are highly sought after in both the South African and international market. In fact, we often see one of the best accolades one can get and that is to spot in the job classified sections, adverts for chefs entitled “Prue Leith graduates only”.
In addition to the high quality of education we deliver, our students are also taught using only the finest quality ingredients from around the world such as Iranian caviar, Italian truffles, French frog’s legs, foie gras and Belgian couverture chocolate. We believe that the quality of our education must be matched with equivalent ingredients in order for the students to maximise the experience they are getting, but more importantly, when going to work in five star kitchens, they must understand the tastes, textures and unique attributes of the finest food available in order to create a masterpiece on a plate both from a visual and taste perspective.
Our own extensive in-house curriculum was developed in response to industry demand and standards under the watchful eye of Prue Leith OBE. Based on the classical French method, it is comprehensive, well-rounded and ensures that the students are armed with a multitude of skills, knowledge and a qualification that is highly sought after.
The course is designed to ensure that our graduates can enter this high-energy career with confidence. In addition to the outstanding chefs education, the Academy also teaches the students other skills. One of the most important, and under the insistence of Prue herself, is the finance module. This is designed to ensure that the students can manage the financial aspect of a kitchen and in these highly competitive times, an Executive Chef cannot properly run a professional kitchen unless he or she fully grasps the financial impact of the menu costings, profit percentages and stock management. The Academy is the only chefs institution in the country where this module is delivered by a Chartered Accountant. In addition to this, the students are also required to team up and put together a business plan during the course of the second semester, the results of which are often outstanding and some graduates have actually implemented their business plans to start their own businesses.
Another key factor that sets the Academy apart from other chef training institutions is that we have both a fully equipped demonstration kitchen and an award winning, fine dining restaurant on site. Prue Leith’s is ranked in the top 100 restaurants in South Africa, and this is where our students polish the skills taught to them in demonstrations. Though Prue Leith’s is a training restaurant run by our students under the watchful eye of our professional chefs and restaurant manager, it has made it’s culinary mark, often getting bookings from overseas for people traveling to Gauteng before they even arrive!
The Academy is centrally located in the old Manor House of Lyttleton in Centurion, Gauteng.