Prue Leith Culinary Institute was founded on the need to supply our local hospitality industry with South African culinary excellence. To this day we are a food obsessed bunch that hope to instill the same passion in every student. Our passion and high standards has not only resulted in world class chefs, but also a reputation for excellence in our own industry and abroad.
In 2014, after nearly 20 years at the forefront of professional culinary training, the Prue Leith Culinary Institute 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 development has also firmly secured the Institute’s position as the first Trade Test Centre for chefs in South Africa.
Kitchens are equipped with the latest culinary technology such as Pacojet, Thermomix, induction hobs, sous vide bath, blast chillers and KitchenAid mixers.
Campus facilities are further supported by a generator, ensuring no restaurant service, classes or exams are interrupted by power outages.
Prue Leith Culinary Institute is known for delivering a high standard of culinary education through a passionate lecturing team that all specialise in different food disciplines. Prue Leith students are also guaranteed the best quality ingredients and equipment to master the art of cooking. Prue Leith Culinary Institute’s professional courses are all locally or internationally accredited through the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, CATHSSETA or City & Guilds.
The Prue Leith Restaurant is a fine dining, contemporary South African restaurant that is open to the general public. Providing hands-on training, it is a significant ingredient in the Institute’s recipe to produce world class chefs. Students do not move from a training kitchen directly into the industry but are further prepared by working for five months in our fine dining restaurant, cooking for and serving paying customers, but supported by chef lecturers. This step in our education provides one of the most important ingredients in a student’s culinary journey – confidence.
Students not only have the opportunity to study in Italy through the Prue Leith-ALMA Italian Chef programme, but will also get significant exposure to international chefs (including our own Prue Leith!) on campus in South Africa.
Prue Leith alumni build careers in Food, not only Hospitality
The 2020 rebrand to Culinary Institute, from Chefs Academy was largely informed by the changes that we have observed in the careers of Prue Leith alumni. Whilst we focused on training professional chefs of the highest standard, Prue Leith alumni could apply their specialist knowledge and skills in traditional chef positions as well as wider food careers including retail, food and wine marketing, food and media, culinary education, agriculture and product development.
The Prue Leith Culinary Institute’s reputation for high standards has opened the doors of top establishments to our students for their workplace experience semesters. We place our students all over South Africa, from Klein Jan in the Kalahari to The Chef’s Table in KwaZulu Natal and La Colombe, Pot Luck Club and Salsify in the Western Cape, to name a few. When possible we also include international placements such as JAN in Nice.
Many Prue Leith students are employed by their final workplace experience establishment. Prue Leith education thus opens the door to employment in top culinary establishments.
Prue Leith Culinary Institute blends online and on-site training in all our professional courses. Cooking and practical assessments for professional courses always take place on-site, where we can smell the aromas, watch your technique closely and taste your flavours.
Theory classes for full time courses are on-site, unless Covid-19 regulations and safety require otherwise, then classes are delivered through the online platform, Zoom. Theory for part time classes are however always delivered online through Zoom.
Course material and formative assessments for all professional courses are further accessed and completed through the Prue Leith Academy Online Platform, giving students instant access to their course material and curriculum.
The Prue Leith Culinary Institute not only has strict Covid-19 safety policies and screening in place, but our staff are all vaccinated. This is not only to protect our dedicated team, students and restaurant customers, but also to minimize interruptions to education.
As mentioned above the Institute’s blended learning approach ensure that theory lectures can safely and effective take place online, and will be prioritized during strict lockdowns. In turn, practical classes are prioritized when on-site classes resume.
Prue Leith culinary education and the restaurant menu is deeply rooted in environmental sustainability – from nose to tail cooking and gardening, to recycling, composting and cleaning up our neighbourhood and minimizing waste.
Prue Leith also supports a local feeding scheme by weekly producing a nutritious vegetable soup and home made bread. We support the SANBS with regular blood donation drives on campus and we are also involved with and support the Olievenhoutbosch Disabled Organisation. Prue Leith cares and shares.
All facilites, including the kitchens and lecture rooms, benefit from full generator back up for uninterupted professional delivery.
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