When planning for a culinary arts degree, it is vitally important to ensure that the culinary arts institute you select will give you the correct foundation to start your career in the culinary arts. This includes ascertaining whether the qualification is internationally accredited and that the training will cover all aspects of a career as a chef or restaurateur. Practical training is also of great importance in order to give graduates the confidence and experience to work in any of South Africa’s top restaurants and hotels.
At Prue Leith’s Culinary Arts Institute, students are exposed to a wide variety of tasks, aspects, difficulties and solutions that they are likely to encounter in the hospitality industry. For students wishing to obtain a culinary arts degree, the Prue Leith Diploma course is an excellent starting point. During the 18-month course, students will gain much practical experience as they work in the award-winning Prue Leith Restaurant. Supervised by the restaurant manager, students will learn to correctly serve meals, welcome guests, take orders and lay tables. During the second and third semesters, the culinary arts institute will place students for 2-month practical internships with some of South Africa’s top restaurants and hotels. Here they will have the chance to experience different restaurant environments and kitchen management styles to broaden their frame of reference.
During the final semester, the work schedule at Prue Leith Restaurant will also include fulfilling the duties of maître d’ Hotel, and wine and bar service. Senior students of the culinary arts institute are paired up and allocated a week – referred to as “Menu Week” – where they are placed “in charge” of the restaurant and are responsible for creating their own special dished, to be served in addition to the regular menu. Other responsibilities include planning and costing their menus, ordering ingredients, producing and plating the meals, and motivating and supervising the junior members of their team. Once again, these skills are essential for the proper completion of a culinary arts degree.
Even though the practical aspect of the course is the focus of the training, the theoretical side of a culinary arts degree is by no means neglected! All students are required to study the various aspects of managing a restaurant or kitchen. These subjects include stocktaking, food sanitation and hygiene, kitchen organisation, finance and management, menu planning and professional ethics. Useful inclusions to a culinary arts degree are herb gardening and wine. Both these subjects give student a finer understanding of combining of flavours to compliment a dish. The wine module of the culinary arts institution’s course covers all subjects and test required for students to complete the Certificate course of the South African Wine Academy.
In short, Prue Leith Culinary Arts Institute’s Diploma course will give all their graduates a firm foundation upon which to build for their Culinary Arts Degree, covering all necessary theory and allowing students to truly experience the practical aspect of this type of career. Once the course is completed, graduates can confidently step out in to hospitality industry and know that they have a respected and accredited qualification, and perhaps even some glowing recommendations behind them.