Chef Life

  • Date Posted: 25 November, 2014

Prue Leith Patron Opens New Culinary Centre

prue-culinary-01After nearly 20 years at the forefront of professional culinary training, the Prue Leith Chefs Academy has invested R10.5 million in new kitchen and lecture facilities, confirming its place at the leading edge of culinary tuition in South Africa and Africa.

This investment was not an expansion effort to accommodate more students, but rather aimed at enhancing the quality of the training offered for the same number of students, and allowing the Academy to offer more specialist courses.

“Prue Leith Chefs Academy has long been a brand that is associated with excellence. The new facilities will undoubtedly contribute towards producing an even higher quality graduate, the net result of which will ensure that the South African hospitality industry receives a steady supply of the chefs who will become the culinary leaders of tomorrow,” says Anthony Roberts, Prue Leith Chefs Academy CEO.

“The Teaching Kitchens are as good as the best in Europe and the great atmosphere of dedication and enjoyment hasn’t changed” says Prue Leith CBE, patron of Prue Leith Chefs Academy who unveiled the new facilities with Academy Chairman Tiny Barnetson during a week celebrating the progress of the Academy and that of South African cuisine.

“Our hopes and aspirations for the new development are for it to be recognized as the centre of culinary education in South Africa, aimed both at students and industry alike” says Barnetson, motivating the Academy’s investment.

On viewing the new facilities recently Chef Patron of Overture Restaurant Bertus Basson stated that these new facilities make Prue Leith Chefs Academy “the best equipped training facility in the country.”

The new TINY BARNETSON CULINARY CENTRE features the following:

  1. Two spacious fully air conditioned lecture rooms seating 40 students each, both are fully equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment. The lecture facilities can also be turned into a large function hall or conference venue by way of a movable acoustic partition wall.
  2. A state of the art training kitchen including:
    • A new teaching kitchen with 20 individual Electrolux Professional cooking stations each equipped with industrial gas and induction hobs, prep sinks, under bar fridges, KitchenAids stand mixers, electronic scales as well as a full set of kitchen utensils and pots.
    • The new training kitchen also has full audio visual capabilities
    • A lecturer demonstration station is equipped with a microphone and camera that relays images to four HD LED screens around the room
    • Walk in Fridge and Freezer
    • Ingredient and equipment store rooms
    • Dedicated scullery with 10 full size pot sinks
  3. Additional bathrooms with shower facilities
  4. An 80KVA generator that can keep the kitchens and lecture facilities in full uninterrupted operation during power outages.
  5. Solar power generation for 40KW

Phase two of this project which will be completed by December 2014 and includes the upgrade of the previous training kitchen to a dedicated patisserie kitchen with 10 individual teaching stations and a lecture station, all equipped with Technistone tops, gas hobs, KitchenAids and specialised patisserie equipment.

South Africa has a booming tourism industry and plays host to countless well-heeled international travelers every year. These visitors expect the very best we can offer. Prue Leith Chefs Academy has invested in our industry to ensure that this demand for the highest standards in the kitchen can be met.

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