South African Chef Skills Academy

Prue Leith’s Premier South African Chef Academy

If you’re a passionate foodie but have not been taught all the tricks of the trade that one may describe as kitchen or food-preparation skills, you’ve probably been rendered speechless at the dexterity and speed with which chefs perform simple and complex tasks alike. They know how to handle razor-sharp knives, chop or cut any ingredient, use a whisk just so, operate kitchen equipment you’ve never seen, realise when another minute and a half in the oven is required, and produce scrumptious works of art in the blink of an eye.

Theoretical Knowledge

Without any smidgen of doubt, every successful chef has extensive knowledge of foodstuffs, menus, food preparation, ingredients, cooking and baking methods, plating, service, and the theory and history pertaining to these important elements. Such knowledge typically includes a great deal of scientifically based culinary theory. Knowledge equips an aspirant chef to understand and remember why and how things work in a kitchen, during the varied processes of producing dishes to please the palate and other senses.

Skills – Applying Knowledge

Nevertheless, it’s also a requirement of today’s professional, academy-qualified chefs that they master a host of skills that make their creations in the kitchen more creative and innovative, as well as more attractive and interesting. The skills aspect of the culinary arts is focused mainly on hands-on practicality. Skills’ training teaches an academy’s students how to apply the knowledge that they’ve acquired. Both of these disciplines go together hand in glove at the prestigious Prue Leith Chefs Academy, South Africa’s top culinary school.

Dedicated Teaching and Training Facilities

Prue Leith Chefs Academy has dedicated, separate, state-of-the-art facilities in which to teach and train culinary students in each discipline, allowing our learners to focus fully, in all aspects, on the content of their theoretical and practical skills classes and courses.

Tiny Barnetson Centre Lecture Rooms

Named after one of our academy’s four founding members, the Tiny Barnetson Centre features two large lecture rooms, which are used for exams, special events, and of course, lectures in culinary theory. Each can seat 40 trainee chefs (or guests), and both feature industrial air-conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, and full, modern audio and visual suites to enhance the content of culinary-theory lectures.

Training Kitchens

Here, students learn, practice and perfect their chef skills. Training kitchen T1, also located in the Tiny Barnetson Centre, has 20 cooking stations that are fully and comprehensively equipped with all the latest, sophisticated tools of the trade. Additional training aids such as AV suites, large LCD screens, and microphones may be incorporated, as required. Students in their first Commis semester train in T1. Training kitchen T2 specialises in teaching trainees extensive patisserie skills, a particularly sought-after culinary speciality. Since sufficiently cool temperatures are required for pasty work, air-conditioning is important in a patisserie kitchen.

The third training kitchen serves the renowned Prue Leith Restaurant, also located on the premises. Students at the academy staff the restaurant kitchen, where they receive actual, hands-on, advanced skills training from their second Commis semester. Paying diners and our academy’s sterling chef-skills training curricula are integral to the restaurant’s popularity and our students’ future success.