Choosing a Chef School in South Africa
So you want to be a chef! Once you’ve decided that culinary school is the right choice for you, the question becomes which culinary school?
Traditionally, if you’d like to become a chef in South Africa, you will complete a one or two year course at an accredited culinary school. The two year course is a diploma course and the one year option is a certificate course. The diploma course is more advanced and the preferred option of the two, since it gives you more experience and knowledge. It may also put you in a better position when it comes to seeking work.
Additionally there are a number of part time and specialist courses to explore once you qualify. All these courses will give you the skills and theoretical knowledge required to embark on a successful career as a chef.
For most courses, and as part of your curriculum, you’ll be placed in an actual kitchen to gain real work experience, while studying at the same time.
Choosing Your Culinary School
Here are our top tips for choosing the right culinary school for you.
Where do you see your career in food? Do you want to be a chef, banquet or restaurant manager? Do you dream of starting your own food catering business? How about being a pastry chef? The first step on your path to becoming a chef is choose the Culinary Arts Program of your interest and confirming that your prospective culinary school includes this in their training.
Choose a school that is a member of SACA. The South African Chefs Association is the top professional chefs’ organisation in South Africa and is the organisation responsible for regulatory oversight of culinary schools. Culinary schools seeking the SACA seal of approval must undergo a thorough evaluation of their curriculum, facilities, student-teacher ratios, certification of instructors and more. The SACA seal of approval is your assurance that the culinary arts program is going to adhere to a uniform standard of instruction and provide a top-quality culinary arts education. Additionally, schools with SACA are involved in all of SA Chefs events, including competitions, seminars, demonstrations and workshops.
The facilities of culinary schools are important as this is where you’ll be spending most of your time learning and developing your cooking skills. Check out the facilities and try joining a class if you can before making your final decision.
In the beginning, a student is only as good as his or her mentor. It is a must that teachers and professors are proficient in their area of expertise. Check your prospect school’s website and get the faculty details. Try to assess if you are comfortable with the overall faculty proficiency based on the information provided.
An excellent culinary education does not need to be an expensive one. Choose a school that is within your budget and that won’t incur a high amount of student-loan debt. Fortunately, many local training show schools offer culinary programs at incredibly affordable and fair prices.
Culinary Schools in South Africa
For more information on Training Providers, please visit SA Chefs. Here you’ll find a comprehensive list of schools grouped by province.