A good food academy should educate its students about a broad cross section of different foods as well as a number of subjects that you and I would probably take for granted. Good chefs do not only know how to prepare and cook a variety of different foods, they are also up to date with such topics as Kitchen organization, Catering equipment, the maintenance of culinary equipment, Food sanitation and hygiene, Professional ethics, Finance and management, menu planning, stock taking and so on. The catering industry encompasses a whole range of different subjects, and graduates from a food academy should be completely conversant with them all, for only in doing so will they end up proficient enough to be able to run their own establishment. Such an academy is the Prue Leith Chefs’ Academy in Hennopspark near Pretoria.
The patron of this food academy, Prue Leith, grew up in Cape Town and later moved to London, where she created a distinguished food empire. For her services to the catering industry in the United Kingdom she was awarded the Order of the British Empire, a prestigious decoration. Together with several top South African chefs, she now sits on an advisory panel that ensures that the high standards of the food academy are maintained and bettered. It was under her watchful eye that the school’s extremely wide-ranging curriculum was developed. The curriculum is based on classical French methods but includes many other subjects such as those mentioned above, and ensures that all students get an excellent cross section of culinary knowledge.