Prestigious Cookery School Produces Quality Candidates for Top Chef Jobs

A cooking school, staffed by former holders of top chef and management jobs within the hospitality industry, simply has to be the best possible place to start the search for anyone whose goal is to tap into South Africa’s next generation of culinary wizards. Situated a little south of Pretoria, the school in question was established by a quartet of cookery and hospitality professionals in 1996 and, given its unqualified success during the intervening 18 years, it has since become widely recognised as the finest training institution of its kind in the country.

Our Patron

Some of the initial success of this Centurion-based facility can, of course, be attributed to its well-known and highly-respected patron. However, the reputation that it has since built is borne out by the fact that many establishments, when recruiting for top chef jobs, frequently specify Prue Leith Chefs Academy graduates. This South African-born lady abandoned the habit of a lifetime when lending her name to the academy. Honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with an O.B.E. and, later, a C.B.E, Prue now lives in the UK and has won international acclaim not just as a TV celebrity chef, but also as a successful restaurateur, an author of both cookery books and novels, and a winner of the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award.

The academy offers a wide selection of courses that prepare its learners for both internal and international examinations. This means that anyone who may be in the market for an expert patisserie chef, can fill their jobs with an internationally qualified man or woman who was trained right here, on our home soil. For many of the country’s leading restaurateurs and hoteliers, this option is now serving to eliminate all of the time-consuming effort, considerable expense and inevitable frustrations that are prone to occur when obliged to conduct an overseas recruitment search.

First- Class Courses and Facilities

There are many things about the academy that distinguish it from the average cookery school. In addition to expert tuition by staff with extensive practical experience of their subjects and superbly-equipped, state-of-the-art kitchens, it boasts comfortable lecture rooms with advanced audio-visual teaching facilities and an extensive library. Here, those who may have their eye on the top chef jobs can gain access to expert, related information from its wide selection of culinary magazines from all across the globe, to its innumerable classic cook books and “how to” DVDs.

A closer look at the practical facilities will reveal a training kitchen, where those in their first Commis semester will acquire their basic foundation skills, and a main kitchen in which the 2nd Commis semester learners will further hone those skills. The latter facility is further subdivided into 3 separate areas that are devoted to the preparation of hot dishes, cold dishes and pastry, respectively.

The academy offers its learners a choice of short and longer-term courses on a full-time basis, while it also makes provision for those who may already be employed, although unqualified, as a chef or in related jobs, with a block release option that is conducted mainly on Saturdays.

The curriculum caters for a number of courses, such as the Grande Diploma in Culinary Arts & Wine and the jointly-run programme for the ALMA Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine, in which new entrants are taught the foundation subjects at the academy and then complete their studies at Italy’s premier culinary training institution in Parma. For those who are already qualified chefs, but wish to specialise in this type of cuisine, the Prue Leith Chefs Academy also offers the option to enrol for just the overseas component.

Because this is an institution whose primary aim is to prepare learners for a professional cooking career, it also provides facilities for prospective employers and potential candidates to communicate their needs to one another online. For those seeking either chefs or chef jobs, this is a valuable platform.