If you are looking for an hotel school in Johannesburg, look no further. Half way to Pretoria just a few kilometres from the highway in the Centurion suburb of Hennopspark is the Prue Leith College of Food and Wine. The Prue Leith College offers an eighteen-month Diploma Course, graduates of which are accepted into fine jobs all over the world. The college was started up, though, with the South African Catering Industry in mind. The college was founded in 1996 after a dire need for qualified staff had arisen in the catering industry. Complaints were being heard from owners of fine food establishments all over the country. Hotels, game lodges and restaurants alike, all were saying that there was a shortage of dedicated and highly motivated staff. The college was started up in an effort to plug this gap. This hotel school is just outside Johannesburg.
The aim of the college is to train professional staff for the industry. The college trustees believe that what the foreign tourist and the South African traveler alike are looking for is stylish and simple food that is of exceptional quality and that has a South African flavour. For this reason the college’s on-site restaurant specializes in uncluttered and freshly made dishes made from the very best of South African produce. An other college philosophy is that in order to retain academic knowledge, that knowledge should be put into practice just as soon as possible. For this reason theoretical and practical training is supplemented by extensive exposure to the harsh realities of the workplace. As early as their second week students can be found working in the college restaurant, which is open five nights a week to the public. They take orders at table, prepare and cook the meals and then serve them at table. The Maître d’Hotel, Wine Steward and Front of House positions are take by more senior students. Work in the restaurant is under the supervision of the restauranr manager.
Further exposure to the workplace takes place in the students’ final semester when they are sent to work in catering establishments throughout South Africa and as far away as Ireland and the Persian Gulf for a period of six months. Further experience is gained in the college boma where the students learn all about Pan African cuisine and learn the fine art of bush cooking. A recently added catering company based a couple of kilometres from the college is another place where the students work either in the company’s industrial kitchen of at the catering venue. Before graduating from the college students must take the Cape Wine Academy Certificate Course, which they take at the college. This gives them a fine understanding of the marriage between food and wine, the emphasis being put on South African wines. Students may take an optional tour of the Cape wine lands to witness the making of South African wines.
So, if you are looking for an hotel school in Johannesburg, look just a little further north towards Pretoria to find this excellent catering college.