A diploma from the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy is a qualification that is recognised throughout the western world. Graduates from this catering college are working in some of the top restaurants and hotels of the world. How come such a small college in the backwaters of Centurion can have gained such an excellent reputation? The answer is that this is a college with a difference, and Prue Leith is not just anyone – Queen Elizabeth 2 honoured her with the OBE for the services she had rendered to the catering industry in Britain. The Prue Leith Chef’s Academy may be a small catering college, but it has the added distinction of being the only catering establishment in the country that has its own fine food restaurant on site, a restaurant that has been awarded its Blaizon from the renowned Chaîne Des Rotisseurs and often gets bookings from overseas before people even arrive in the country. The restaurant has been listed in the top twenty of South African restaurants and the top ten in Gauteng, and is manned entirely by students from the college.
The diploma course that students at the chef’s academy attend is comprised of three semesters, and lasts a total of eighteen months. During this time they will spend two periods, each comprising eight weeks, seconded to top ranking game lodges, restaurants and hotels in South Africa and as far afield as Europe. It is here that they get further “on the job” experience and where they frequently find their first job after graduation. It is not without good reason that the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy takes its place among the world’s top culinary colleges.