• Course Overview

    The Prue Leith Culinary Institute is very proud to offer a joint programme in partnership with Italy’s premiere culinary training institution, ALMA – La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana, in Colorno (Parma – Italy).

    In July 2011, Prue Leith and ALMA embarked upon this joint programme, the likes of which has never before been seen in the South African culinary industry. The programme gives enthusiastic young South African chef students the opportunity to train both locally and abroad.

    Qualified chefs wishing to specialise in Italian cuisine can also apply and will only complete the Italian part of the course, with introductory subjects at Prue Leith Culinary Institute.

    Effectively, for any prospective student wishing to follow a career focused on Italian cuisine and culture as well as the French culinary cornerstones, this international collaboration opens the door to seven months of full time study and practical experience in Italy, as well as 12-months of City & Guilds approved foundational training in South Africa.

    ALMA has identified Prue Leith Culinary Institute as the benchmark Academy in Southern Africa to include in its international network of renowned culinary partner schools. As part of an international network, the Prue Leith-ALMA partnership not only provides a full immersion into Italian food and culture, but also allows for greater international exposure for both the Academy and our students.


    • 19 Months ( Full Time )


    • January & July intake


    • Matric / Grade 12 qualification or equivalent.
    • An inextinguishable passion for food, the ability to work hard, an eye for detail.

    Course Options

    There are two options available for this programme:

    • Option A: For candidates with no professional culinary experience.
    • Option B: For qualified chefs wishing to specialise in Italian cuisine (Excludes foundational training segment)

  • First Year

    First Semester

    • Introduction to the kitchen and hospitality industry
    • Personal hygiene & safety
    • Food safety & workplace safety
    • Numeracy, units measure & computer literacy
    • Environmental awareness
    • Introduction to nutrition & diets
    • Understanding basic ingredients
    • Theory of food production
    • Theory of commodity resource management
    • Food preparation methods
    • Food preparation techniques
    • Cooking methods & techniques
    • Personal development as a cook
    • First Aid & Fire course
    • Assist with kitchen activities in Prue Leith Restaurant and Short Courses

    Exam: Internal Theory & Practical Exam

    Second Semester
    5 Months Practical

    Practical experience in the Prue Leith Restaurant, the Academy’s on site fine dining restaurant. Students will be compiling a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) during this semester.

    Exam: External Summative Assessment for Occupational Certificate: Cook Qualification

    Exam: City & Guilds Certificate, Food Safety Theory

    ALMA Italy

    Full time training in Italy at ALMA for two months

    • Italian regional cuisine and culture
    • Italian products and raw materials
    • Guest chef demonstrations by top Italian chefs from different regions
    • Cooking techniques and practice
    • Wines of Italy
    • Italian Pastry
    • Italian language
    • Visits to food production sites.



    Practical Internship in Italy

    Five month stage: Students are placed at top establishments throughout Italy to gain practical experience in the work environment. Students will be working the hours required by the operation and are provided with accommodation as well as meals, but are not paid during this period.

  • Qualifications & Examinations

    Tests can be expected throughout the course in all subjects and final exams will take place in Italy. Successful candidates will achieve:

    • Prue Leith-ALMA Diploma in Italian Cuisine
    • City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (8065-01)
    • WSET Level 1 Wine and Spirit Courses
    • Level 1 First Aid Certificate and Fire

  • Course Times

    • Course times will change according to the semesters, but students should expect to work shifts and evenings, as well as Saturdays from the first year.
    • When placed on practical in industry students will be expected to work the hours of the establishment that they are placed at including public holidays and weekends.

  • Visa & Work Permits

    • Students wishing to enrol for the joint program must have a valid passport.
    • Visa arrangements are facilitated by Prue Leith with ALMA’s assistance.
    • Issuing of visas is at the discretion of the relevant Italian consular office.
    • Passports must be delivered 75 days in advance of arrival in Italy.

  • Request Course Information

    I'm Interested!

    Please send me my application pack for
    ALMA: Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine


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