Even before reality television shows became as popular and prolific as they are nowadays, cooking programmes highlighting the innovation, talents and skills of amateur cooks and professional master chefs have commanded enormous viewing audience numbers.
Subsequently, much has changed since the world became a so-called global village. Today, access to information is widely available via the internet and this includes profiles of renowned chefs, their achievements, skills and accolades.
Amateur and Professional Kitchen Magicians
The average domestic kitchen is no longer primarily the domain of wives and mothers. Joe Public is aware of, knowledgeable about and keenly interested in numerous diverse subjects, especially food in general and gourmet cuisine in particular.
Umpteen ordinary people with no previous training are giving their all to emulate the achievements of acclaimed chefs – the professional kitchen magicians responsible for creating amazing new dishes and food trends.
People who had formerly barely ventured into the kitchen are now keenly interested in trying out recipes and testing their own skills, such has been the influence of famous chefs, food bloggers, and the judges and participants in cooking competitions.
Chefs and Cuisine
A chef is responsible for all the dishes that leave the kitchen, as the head and master of his kitchen and its personnel, and is also known by this word worldwide to indicate the principal cooking role. However, this French word means “chief”.
“Cuisine” means “kitchen”, but is now also used to refer to a style of cooking or food/cooking in general. Therefore, a chef de cuisine is the head/chief of the kitchen and the food produced there, by himself or herself with the assistance of the supporting staff members.
Big Names of the 20th and 21st Centuries
Some of the popular, highly skilled latter 20th century master chefs who have become known globally include Paul Bocuse, Henri Gault, Christian Millau and the Roux brothers. Gault and Millau restored nouvelle cuisine principles to fine dining kitchens, further developing and taking the concept beyond its origins.
In the 21st century, some of the well-known persons whose names have been added to the list of great chefs are Prue Leith (CBE), Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, to name. The patron of our top-culinary school – the leader amongst all South African culinary schools – ranks amongst the renowned listed names, whilst many of our graduates have worked successfully for others on the lists.
Top-notch, modern schools of culinary arts, such as our prestigious academy in Johannesburg, base the training which they provide on the classical French method, which was refined by one of the most famous chefs of all time, Georges Auguste Escoffier.
Local Adventurous, Discerning Diners
Ordinary South African diners, much like people elsewhere, have become far more adventurous and discerning in their dining out preferences and eating habits. A couple of generations ago, sitting down to a Chinese meal was seen by many as being quite daring. Now, virtually all major cuisines of the world have a presence in the country, supported by devoted diners throughout the country.
Chefs’ Skills to Meet Demands
It follows that suitably qualified, talented chefs with the necessary skills and passion are in demand to delight the palates of increasing numbers of discerning diners, eager for new styles of creative cuisine, and it’s commonplace to find vacancies advertised which state that only graduates from our institution need apply.