There are a number of restaurants to choose from when dining out in Centurion, but for a really good meal of fine food there is no better choice than the Prue Leith’s. But what is so special about the Prue Leith’s. Some years ago Tiny Barnetson and Graham Ledger decided to fill the gap that was appearing in many fine dining restaurants, game lodges and hotels at the time, namely a shortage of highly qualified and well-motivated culinary staff. South Africa had recently undergone democratization, and following this there was a boom in the tourist industry. Catering establishments just couldn’t keep up with the demands made upon them, and very soon it became obvious that there was a general shortage of personnel available to fill vacant positions. It was also obvious that it would take some time to train up new staff to the standards that had been set by the industry. Both the foreign tourist and the South African traveler wanted stylish, simple food of exceptional quality and with a South African flavour. They did not particularly want grand International Cuisine. We had the brilliant idea of starting up a culinary college, and the obvious place to put it was halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria – this meant either Midrand or Centurion.
Students are accepted into the college once they have achieved at least a standard grade pass at Matric and if they have reached eighteen years of age. The school’s catering course lasts eighteen months over three six-month semesters. There is a maximum number of students per course of forty, so no more than 120 students are at the college at any one time. During the course students spend six months during term 3 at countrywide game lodges, restaurants and hotels in order to gain hands-on experience in a catering establishment.
We decided to go for Centurion and built the college in the grounds of the old Lyttelton Manor House. You can find the restaurant in the grounds of the college in Hennopspark, a picturesque suburb of Centurion. Students from the college staff the restaurant, which is open four evenings a week, Wednesday to Saturday. They take orders, prepare and cook the meals, wait at table and fill the positions of wine steward and Maître d’Hotel, all under professional supervision. Prue Leith’s has been awarded its Blaizon from the Chaîne Des Rotisseurs in France and has been ranked in the top twenty restaurants in the country and the top ten restaurants in Gauteng by the Business Day. The restaurant is fully licensed. When dining out in Centurion be sure to book a table at this fine dining restaurant.