The BBC Food Channel on South African television has brought many of us much closer to the kitchen and given us many examples of top catering. Few, if any, television cooks and chefs have got where they are without undergoing extensive training followed up by lots of on-the-job practice in top restaurants. Many of them now own their own restaurants and are family names. That extensive training is the key to the matter, and in order to get along in the catering industry in this country you won’t do better than to attend a training course in top catering at the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy. This catering college is located in the pleasant gardens of the old Lyttleton Manor in Centurion. In the eleven years since its inception this college has trained world-class chefs who have gone on to work in famous kitchens around the world, including television’s Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and the Le Roux brothers.
The extensive curriculum offered at the school includes a finance module, designed to ensure that students can handle the financial aspects of the kitchen. Top catering chefs cannot run a professional kitchen efficiently unless they understand the financial implications of menu costing, profit margins and stock management. Prue Leith’s is the only catering college where this module is delivered by business executives. Students must team up to present a business plan, and the results of this have been so exceptional that some students have actually used their plan to open their own business. No wonder that so many classified adverts for chefs include the words “Prue Leith graduates only”.