Chef Training and Certification

Leading SA Centre of Professional Chef Training and Certification

Some chefs appear to be born to the creative culinary arts, which seem to come to them naturally, almost magically, but by far most successful modern chefs undergo formal, theoretical, and practical training, prior to their eventual qualification and certification that enable them to become recognised, professional chefs.

Gordon Ramsay

This is true even for today’s most successful chefs, who are household names across the world. Gordon Ramsay, who can now add an OBE to his list of other accolades that include numerous Michelin stars, began his culinary career by enrolling for a course in hotel management at North Oxfordshire Technical College. After this, he worked for Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy, amongst other well-known chefs and mentors who enabled him to continue his on-the-job training in France, England, and elsewhere.

Jamie Oliver

Despite spending much of his early years in the kitchen of his parents’ English pub, where he gained a certain amount of apprentice chef’s practical knowledge, Jamie studied cooking at the then-Westminster Kingsway College, followed by further chef training at various restaurants, including some in France. In 2003, he received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth ll.

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

Some foodies may not be familiar with Jan, who is only in his early 30s, a young South African chef who obtained an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts locally and has opened his own restaurant in Nice, France, a fine dining establishment that has recently achieved a sought-after Michelin star.

Prue Leith

Also born in South Africa, Prue Leith’s culinary studies and initial chef’s training were at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. Today, this multi-talented entrepreneurial lady, Prue Leith CBE, is an author, columnist, media personality, acclaimed celebrity judge of professional chefs’ competition, Great British Menu, owned her own Michelin-starred restaurant and, best of all for us at Prue Leith Chefs Academy in Centurion, near Pretoria, South Africa, she’s our patron. Have a look at some of Prue Leith’s Certified Chefs’ Courses:

  • We have a new addition to our range of professional chefs’ training diploma courses at Prue Leith. This new programme, Occupation Certificate: Chef, involves three years of full-time study.
  • Our Grande Diploma in Culinary Arts & Wine, which spans 18 months full-time, is already well known and widely acclaimed by our peers in the South African hospitality industry.
  • ALMA “Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine” is a 13-month full-time programme presented partially in South Africa and partially in Italy, providing learners with the best hands-on, authentic chef training that focusses on the delights of Italian cuisine.
  • The Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts takes six months of full-time study to complete and graduate.

Accreditations, Associations, and Certifications

Prue Leith Chefs Academy’s courses are accredited, certified, or associated with the following bodies:

  • City & Guilds
  • Department of Education and Training
  • South African Chefs Association
  • Cathsseta
  • QCTO

Time’s a-marching, but you’re still in time to enrol for our July intake. Enrol now. Perhaps you’ll find yourself working in Gordon Ramsay’s or Jamie Oliver’s kitchens, as some of our graduates have done. You may become one of the great chefs of this century. It just depends on you, your training, and certification at Prue’s and your determination to succeed.