Chef School

Leading Professional Qualifications by South Africa’s Leading Chef School

Every year in South Africa, the arrival of January is the start of a new school year. Although there are four annual school, college, and university holidays, January is the back-to-school month, although most universities resume their academic year in February. Prue Leith Chefs Academy, the top culinary school in South Africa, has two annual intakes for our five full-time professional chefs’ courses – in January and July. Nonetheless, our academic year officially commences in January, because our students do not have a moment to waste.

Full-Time Courses

The durations of our professional chefs’ training courses and curricula at Prue Leith Chefs Academy span six, 12, 18, or 19 months, or three years, depending on your career aspirations. Most of these courses are designed to train students who are new to professional kitchens and the culinary world of chefs:

• Professional Patisserie – six months – for qualified chefs wishing to specialise in the art of patisserie.
• Introduction to Professional Cookery – 12 months – a professional introductory course consisting of the first year of our school’s Occupational Certificate: Chef course. Upon successful completion of this introductory course, graduates may continue their studies in the aforementioned occupational programme, our school’s City & Guilds-accredited diploma courses in patisserie, or our exclusive ALMA Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine training.
• ALMA “Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine” – 19 months – the Prue Leith school offers two options, the first having the introductory course and qualification as its basis (indicated above), whilst the second is reserved for novices without formal culinary training. In the second option, 12 months of your specialised Italian cuisine training will be spent at our school in South Africa, and you will be exposed to seven months of study and practical training in Italy, mentored by masters in modern and traditional Italian cookery.
• Occupational Certificate: Chef – three years – is our chef school’s course that has its basis in our Grande Diploma programme, with the addition of extended external practical working experience.


All are comprehensive, nationally recognised, and internationally accredited with City & Guilds. However, we believe in equipping our chef graduates with even more knowledge, experience, and skills than those required by accreditation bodies as graduation standards. In this way, successful, newly graduated Prue Leith chefs can obtain entry-level positions with ease and perform in first-class restaurants with competence and confidence.

Postgraduate Programmes

In addition to the Prue Leith courses that train novices to become qualified chefs, we have included two postgraduate diploma courses in our full-time culinary specialities:

• Professional Patisserie – six months.
• ALMA “Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine” – ten months for qualified chefs, since the foundational section is unnecessary and has been omitted.

Part-Time and Short Courses

The prestigious Prue Leith chef school also offers a variety of part-time programmes and for home cooks, an enormous collection of short courses. If you are passionate about food and fascinated by the culinary arts, you are sure to find the crème of courses at our chef school. January is just around the corner, and you will find a mine of information on our website. We welcome your enquiries and look forward to your enrolment.