Anyone who has ever dined at a restaurant knows that the person responsible for what they eat is the chef, but few have an understanding of how hard this person and his/her support staff work. There is also the matter of how much learning and knowledge is required in order to occupy this position successfully.
Customers have high expectations of and are notoriously fussy about all aspects of the hospitality industry, especially those pertaining to their food. There are few greater rewards for a dedicated chef than when they receive sincere thanks and compliments from happy diners.
It is something for which they all strive and is the very factor that builds their and the restaurant’s reputation and popularity – in short, a successful business, managed, lead and driven by the passion, commitment and creativity of the executive chef.
Although food is an essential need, basically the ingredients which fuel the body and ensure survival, human beings’ cognitive senses have evolved to a higher level than eating merely in order to survive. While eating is essential for survival, dining is a multi-sensory experience, but one seldom realises to what extent one relies on the senses to evaluate and enjoy food.
It is said that we eat with our eyes, before ever taking a bite – this is visual appeal. The sight of a carefully prepared and beautifully plated dish is aesthetically pleasing. Pleasure is an emotional response, generating a sense of expectation, anticipation and potentially, even more pleasure.
As wonderful aromas waft up and reach the nose, one’s pleasure increases further and appetite is stimulated, in the course of which the tongue, the primary seat of taste, readies itself to explore these culinary delights more fully.
An innovative chef is trained to create delicious dishes which recognise, satisfy and indulge these wonderfully subtle senses, paying tribute to the palates of discerning diners. That’s one reason why great food preparation is an art and a science.
In a Perfect World
Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect world, but there is nothing wrong with striving to make it so in one’s own area of expertise. Nevertheless, in a perfect world, all chef schools would be of high repute and produce graduates who are confidently equipped with outstanding culinary skills, as are those who train at our academy.
Our culinary school, the Prue Leith Chefs Academy, is situated in the Centurion area on the outskirts of Pretoria. One and all, we are deeply gratified that South Africa’s top chefs and other industry professionals rate our training institution as the finest of its kind in the country – the top culinary school in South Africa.
Even so, we consistently work towards on-going improvement in all we do, for the benefit of our students locally and abroad (many of our graduates go on to build successful careers overseas), discerning diners, our industry and our reputation.
Additionally, our patron – Prue Leith CBE – expects no less. We consult her about major decisions and changes, and she keeps up to date with our progress and that of our students, also travelling to SA from Britain to pay us periodic visits.
Skills and Confidence
It is vital to your future success that you possess a balance of theoretical knowledge, requisite practical skills to execute this knowledge, and the confidence of knowing that you have received the best training available at a top culinary school – Prue Leith Chefs Academy.