A hot kitchen and a cold kitchen are different parts of the same commercial kitchen, the difference being in the use to which a particular space is put. The hot kitchen can best be summed up as being that part of a kitchen where raw materials are prepared and cooked, whether baked, fried, roast, boiled or steamed. It is in this part of the kitchen that hot kitchen chefs carry out their business. The hot kitchen is usually equipped with modern facilities such as gas and electric stoves, exhaust fans, ovens, chillers, hot and cold water supply, dishwashers and so on. Chefs send finished dishes from the hot kitchen to the cold kitchen to await serving at table.
Students at the Prue Leith Chefs’ Academy learn all about the hot kitchen during the Prue Leith Diploma Course, which is recognized in the catering and hospitality industries the world over. The academy, located in the grounds of the old Littleton Manor House in Hennopspark, has an extremely comprehensive curriculum, which is enjoyed by up to 120 students in three parallel courses at any one time. Soon after the junior course starts, students are thrown in at the deep end when they are put work in the Prue Leith Restaurant, the college’s own fine-food restaurant that is set in the college grounds. Here the student chefs man all of the jobs in the hot kitchen, preparing and cooking dishes for the restaurant. They also man Front of House and act as Maître d’Hotel and Wine Steward. Later during the course students are placed in some of South Africa’s leading game lodges, restaurants and hotels and a few lucky ones in hotels in the Middle East and Europe. Here they spend up to six months gaining further “hands on” experience in real working conditions.