Prue Leith: The Cooking Academy of Choice

Prue Leith had a dream to start a cooking academy in South Africa that would help mould the best graduate chefs in the country. The academy was established in 1996 by four owner/operators or those in senior positions at boutique hotels. Patron Prue Leith’s vision has been realised over the years, with Prue Leith Chefs Academy graduates being held in the highest regard amongst recruitment agents and potential employers. Prue was contacted by the group of passionate professionals, and approved of the plan wholeheartedly.

Prue Leith Chefs Academy is not only one of the most desired institutions in South Africa; it is also the only chef training school that can boast one of the highest ranking fine dining restaurants in the country. Working in a real restaurant forms part of this academy’s successful philosophy. High quality education is matched with high quality ingredients, students making use of delicacies such as frog’s legs, foie gras, Iranian caviar, truffles from Italy and only the smoothest couverture chocolate from the land of luxury chocolate: Belgium. The academy ensures that the most relevant and qualified teachers are available to train budding chefs, contributing to the overriding sense of trust in the graduates of this prestigious academy.

The curriculum is based on French methods of training, ensuring an education that keeps up with international standards, exceeding all expectations as a cooking academy. An equipped state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen plus a fine dining restaurant equip students with the necessary hands-on skills needed for their careers. Our finance module teaches chefs in training about costing, profit and stock management – knowledge that Executive Chefs will find invaluable out there in the competitive world of hospitality. The course prepares chefs for every eventuality they could encounter when they are employed, providing the holistic education that they are famous for in the industry.

Prue Leith Chefs Academy is housed in an old manor in Lyttelton, which is in Centurion in Gauteng. The Academy is equipped with a full library, complete with books on the subjects that students will be interested in, journals, internet, DVDs and more.

After producing the finest chefs in the country for decades, ‘Prue Leith graduates only’ advertisements can often be seen in relevant publications. The Academy offer various courses such as:

  • Grande Diploma in Culinary Arts and Wine;
  • ALMA (Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine);
  • Diploma in Patisserie (6 or 12 months);
  • Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts;
  • Diploma in Culinary Arts;
  • Certificate in Sugar Arts

Newly introduced short courses serve as both a refresher for professional chefs and as tuition for serious foodies who wish to acquire culinary skills. Short courses include:

  • Art of Bread Baking;
  • Art of Pasta and Sauces;
  • Basic Chocolate Modelling; Advanced Cakes and Decorations; and
  • Basic Chocolate Decorating and Confections.

Dedication to excellence in education and many more factors have led to Prue Leith Chefs Academy being held in the highest esteem. This cooking academy is the Rolls Royce of chef training, attracting the most passionate students across the country, which in turn make the most energetic and excellent chefs. Prue Leith Chef’s Academy also boasts a cluster of proud sponsors and partners, from the likes of Birkenstock and Kenwood, to Wiz Bake, Acqua Panna and San Pelligrino, Mutti, W.L. Cole and ALMA, helping in their way in creating a world-class institution.

The Academy is accredited by City & Guilds, an institution offering over 500 qualifications; SACA, the non-profit chefs association; SASSI, the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative; DHET, the Department of Higher Education and Training; and CATHSSETA, who contribute to the raising of skills that are needed by the specific industry employers.

Prue Leith Chefs Academy has proven itself to be THE academic institution for budding chefs, boasting consistent job offers to new graduates from the top 25 restaurants in the country. Some of the chefs have even worked in the kitchens of famous and successful chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and the Roux brothers.

Prue Leith Chefs Academy offers students excellence in education, world-class facilities and lecturers who specialise in various fields that will help mould the finest chefs in South Africa. Graduating as a “Prue Leith chef” is the break you will need to be able to make your way in one of the most competitive industries in the world!