Johannesburg, City of Gold, and city of Big Business. Where there is Big Business there are Corporate Offices, and where there are Corporate Offices there are Corporate Functions. All of which points towards what a good idea it would be to have a Catering Company in Johannesburg! One recent addition to the catering companies of Gauteng is Prue Leith Catering. The Prue Leith Catering Company is right next to Johannesburg, and was launched in April 2005. The catering company seeks to emulate the excellence of the College by delivering the highest quality food to a destination of the customer’s choice. The College they are talking about is the Prue Leith College of Food and Wine. Tiny Barnetson and Graham Ledger founded the Prue Leith College in 1996 after recognizing a niche in the South Africa’s catering industry. They recognized that there was a severe shortage of good, well-trained and reliable staff in many of the big tourist attractions, for example game lodges, hotels and restaurants. This had come about because of the sudden boost to the tourist industry after sanctions against South Africa had been lifted. The college was founded in order to train professionals for that market. The training course would be developed to train a person to be able to accommodate the foreign tourist or the South African traveler with what they wanted, namely simple food of exceptional quality with a South African flavour. In addition it would ensure that all students understood and loved good wines, and could pass this knowledge on to the tourist.
Students may be accepted into the school after they have turned eighteen and have obtained the minimum of standard grade pass at Matric. The course lasts for eighteen months and is split into three six-month semesters that commence in January and July. During the course students learn about all aspects of the catering industry, both from the practical side and the Finance and Management aspects. Before completing the course all students will have had actual working experience in Prue Leith’s, the College’s own restaurant on the premises. They will also have spent some time in the College boma learning how to cook in the bush and experiencing some Pan African cuisine. Their final six months of the course is spent at an up-market catering establishment of some kind – it might be a restaurant, a game lodge or even, as an example, at the Sheraton in Dubai! Students gain practical experience of all aspects of the catering industry when they work in these establishments.
It was as a result of many requests from students and the demand for upmarket, quality offsite catering, that Tiny and Graham decided to form Prue Leith Catering. This catering company serves Johannesburg, Centurion and Pretoria as well as all the surrounding areas. A large industrial kitchen was been built 2.5 kilometres from the College. It sits in a pleasant industrial estate and is rum by professional chefs with the help of students from the Prue Leith College.