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Top Culinary Schools in South Africa

by Staff Reporter

Let’s discuss top culinary schools in South Africa.

Do you long to be a chef, preparing fantastic food? Studying the culinary arts is essential for several reasons if you’re looking to become a professional chef.

Attending a culinary school will teach you the required skills and knowledge of a chef, including cooking and creating new dishes, keeping the kitchen safe, and running the kitchen more efficiently. 

If you want to study the art of culinary, we’ve listed below some of the top culinary schools in South Africa as well as some of the essential information you may want to know about studying culinary.

What is a culinary school?

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Let’s start with ‘culinary’ – culinary is the art of preparing, cooking, presenting and serving food. The culinary industry includes all of the food preparation and presentation jobs.

A straightforward way to think about culinary is to consider what makes food delicious. 

As humans, we judge food by the way the food itself looks; how the food is presented, how it smells, how it tastes, the texture of the food, how it feels on the tongue and of course, how it makes us feel.

You may not have realised that all these factors play a role in our enjoyment of food, but these senses are all working every time you have food in front of you. It’s the role of the culinary professional to ensure that all of these senses are satisfied positively.

What is required to become a culinary chef in South Africa?

Student-and-chef

Ideally, chefs should have a bachelor’s degree in the culinary arts or in a related area, such as hospitality. In order to study towards this degree, you will need a Grade 10 certificate or a National Senior Certificate that meets the requirements for a diploma or degree course, depending on the chosen study method.

What are the minimum requirements to study at culinary school?

If you’re ready to make cooking a career, then you’re probably wondering what the requirements for culinary school are, and if you’ve got what it takes.

What are subjects you will need?

The following High School subjects are recommended;

  • Grade 10 Certificate or Equivalent (matric preferable)
  • Fluent in English
  • Must be 18 years old
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Physical Science
  • Mathematics
  • Consumer Studies

What skills do you need to become a chef?

You’ll need:

  • organisational and time management skills
  • excellent communication and number skills
  • the ability to stay calm under pressure
  • a teachable spirit
  • be a team player

How can I find out if I meet the requirements to study at culinary school in South Africa?

You should contact each institution you are interested in for their specific requirements. These requirements can also be flexible and institutions may accept you even if you don’t meet the minimum requirements if you have other skills or experience that they consider equivalent or sufficient.

How do I choose the right culinary school for me?

When planning for a culinary course, it is vitally important to ensure that the culinary institute you select will give you the correct foundation to start your career in the culinary arts; this includes establishing whether the qualification is internationally accredited and if the training provided will cover all aspects of a career as a chef.

Practical training is also essential to give graduates the confidence and experience to work in any of South Africa’s top restaurants and hotels. 

The best way to find out is to check out any open days that the institutes may offer, have a look at their website, and find graduates that you can chat to and ask questions that may help inform your decision. 

How long does it take to become a professional culinary chef in South Africa?

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As you look at school choices (yes, there are a lot of them!), you may wonder: how long does it take to complete culinary school?

You need to consider the whole scope: from learning basic principles and kitchen techniques to advanced topics and obtaining actual hands-on experience in industry kitchens. 

Culinary and cooking school can take anywhere from a few short months to four years, depending on the chosen length of culinary school. The specialisation you choose can also affect the length of your course, for example a specialist pastry qualification is generally shorter than an all-rounder chef’s qualification as you focus on only certain aspects.

There are different options you can choose when you enrol and factors that can affect the length of your studies. For instance, professional culinary training can take 2 to 4 years. The challenge is choosing the one that’s right for you.

How much does culinary school usually cost in South Africa?

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Culinary school fees in South Africa generally cost between R15,000 and R150,000; this depends on the course duration and the certifications that come with them.

Some schools offer a limited number of bursaries to help cover these costs otherwise you may need to seek student finance to help cover the costs.

Where can I study to become a chef in South Africa?

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Glad you asked! Choosing South Africa as the country for your culinary study is excellent. South Africa’s pool of culinary chefs has grown drastically over the years and will continue to grow.

That dream of working in award winning hotels and restaurants, or starting your own world-class eatery can be achieved! 

South Africa boasts award winning and internationally rated, top culinary schools in the world – offering practical and theoretical studies, as well as on-site training at top hospitality establishments.

We’ve got you covered with South Africa’s top culinary schools in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

Top Culinary Schools in South Africa

Top Culinary schools in Johannesburg

If you live in Johannesburg and want to study at culinary school, check out our list of the top culinary schools in Johannesburg

International Hotel School - Johannesburg

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International Hotel School is the only Hospitality and Culinary school in Africa ranked in the top 50 Hospitality Universities in the world.

 Their courses contain unrivalled practical work experience in leading hospitality establishments, leaving all students graduate job ready! International Hotel School produces excellent graduates who are head-hunted all over the world.

Their course fees start from R59 000 per year for full-time courses.

Capsicum Culinary Studio - Rosebank Campus

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Capsicum Culinary Studio is a prominent and well-reputed cooking institute in South Africa. Capsicum Culinary Studio is award-winning, and it is internationally rated as one of the best cooking schools in South Africa and Africa as a whole. 

Having won several local and international awards, the school has already gained a considerable reputation in the catering industry. The school has campuses in six different locations in South Africa. Capsicum Culinary Studio offers advanced and professional culinary courses, and their qualifications are internationally accredited.

Their course fees average at around R42 000 per year for full-time courses.

JHB Culinary & Pastry School

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JHB Culinary & Pastry School offers students an affordable quality education while having on-the-job training while studying. 

As part of their curriculum, professional experience is a requirement. JHB Culinary & Pastry School offers 30% theoretical training, 70% practical training and national and international courses. 

Their course fees start from R30 000 per year for full-time courses.

Guvon Hotels and Spas

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Guvon Hotels and Spas offer students training in a very practically-orientated environment, placing them in one of their renowned Guvon Hotels or other exceptional hotel properties.

Dedicated chef lecturers spend a lot of time nurturing and developing young chefs to succeed in the fast-paced culinary world. On-campus, 70% of the study time is dedicated to practical work, with the remainder focusing on the theoretical side.

Their course fees start from R69 000 per year for full-time courses.

HTA School of Culinary Art

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HTA School of Culinary Art offers professional, realistic opportunities to acquire theoretical knowledge and carefully monitored practical training within Johannesburg’s finest Hotels, restaurants and catering companies.

Their two-year, full–time City and Guilds/QCTO accredited course provides students with a comprehensive programme in all principles relating to the production of quality cuisine and the ability to manage a kitchen. 

Fees can range from R65 000 to R180 000 per student per year.

Top Culinary schools in Pretoria

If you live in Pretoria and want to study culinary art, check out our list of the top culinary schools in Pretoria

Steyns Culinary School

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Steyns Culinary School gives hands-on culinary courses in Pretoria where the students can learn by experience.

Their top qualified chefs will demonstrate and guide the students in acquiring the necessary know-how to master the most basic cooking skills and more advanced techniques in culinary arts.

They offer full-time and part-time courses; fees start at around R55 000 over 18 weeks.

Prue Leith Culinary Institute & Restaurant

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Prue Leith Culinary Institute was established to supply our local hospitality industry with South African culinary excellence.

Both long and short courses are offered and are routinely conducted on a full-time basis, but block release programmes can also be arranged. This option allows candidates who are already employed to study for a higher qualification.

For information on Prue Leith College Fees Structure, contact the school via their website.

Capital Hotel School

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Capital Hotel School has embraced the art of hospitality, offering national and international qualifications to students and industry professionals. They offer full-time and short courses. 

For information on Capital Hotels School’s Fees Structure, contact the school via their website.

KeTala Chefs Academy

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KeTala Chefs Academy is truly a gem of the culinary industry. This prestigious culinary school is ideally situated on a smallholding in the East of Pretoria, combining nature with an exceptional farm-like experience and bringing a holistic environment into the kitchen and training centre.

They offer Level 1 certificate and Level 2 diploma certifications as well as, full-time and short courses.

For information on KeTala Chefs Academy’s Fees Structure, contact the school via their website.

Top Culinary schools in Cape Town

If you live in Cape Town and want to study culinary art, check out our list of the top culinary schools in Cape Town.

International Hotel School - Cape Town

IHS-logo

International Hotel School is the only Hospitality and Culinary school in Africa ranked in the top 50 Hospitality Universities in the world.

 Their courses contain unrivalled practical work experience in leading hospitality establishments, leaving all students graduate job ready! International Hotel School produces excellent graduates who are head-hunted all over the world.

Their course fees start from R59 000 per year for full-time courses.

Capsicum Culinary Studio - Cape Town Campus

capiscum

Capsicum Culinary Studio is a prominent and well-reputed cooking institute in South Africa. Capsicum Culinary Studio is award-winning, and it is internationally rated as one of the best cooking schools in South Africa and Africa as a whole. 

Having won several local and international awards, the school has already gained a considerable reputation in the catering industry. The school has campuses in six different locations in South Africa. Capsicum Culinary Studio offers advanced and professional culinary courses, and their qualifications are internationally accredited.

Their course fees average at around R42 000 per year for full-time courses.

Silwood School of Cookery

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The Silwood School of Cookery is South Africa’s oldest cookery school and has earned itself a world class reputation.

Silwood offers a broad based culinary education equipping the graduates with the classic skills required in top international kitchens. They offer part-time and full-time courses, leaving their graduates dominating all areas of the food industry.

For information on Silwood School of Cookery’s Fees Structure, contact the school via their website.

Institute of Culinary Arts

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The Institute for Creative Arts was the first officially registered and accredited chef school for professional chefs in South Africa and is among the top three cooking schools globally.

Their extensive curriculum is based on classical French gastronomy, and their course objectives are driven and endorsed by the industry.

Advanced Diploma course fees start at R140 000 per year.

South African Chefs Academy

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South African Chefs Academy teaches the classic French cooking repertoire and believes that the best way for students to learn is through daily practical training. They offer full-time and part-time courses catered for national and international students.

For information on South African Chefs Academy Fees Structure, contact the school via their website.

Chefs Training & Innovation Academy (CTIA Stellenbosch Campus)

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Chefs Training & Innovation Academy offers full-time, part-time and e-learning courses in culinary.

CTIA is fully accredited with the QCTO and has formed a long-term partnership with the UK based education organisation City & Guilds, offering international accreditation to students.

Complete the contact form on CTIA’s fees page for further information about their fee structure. You can also get in touch by using the contact information on their website.

Sense of Taste Chef School

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Sense of Taste Chef School has established their reputation as Cape Town’s most dynamic and personalised chef school. 

They offer two courses; a two-year diploma recognised both nationally and internationally and a one-year advanced certificate in culinary.

Course fees are around R88 500 for the entire course.

Top Culinary schools in Durban

If you live in Durban and want to study culinary art, check out our list of the top culinary schools in Durban

International Hotel School - Durban

IHS-logo

International Hotel School is the only Hospitality and Culinary school in Africa ranked in the top 50 Hospitality Universities in the world.

 Their courses contain unrivalled practical work experience in leading hospitality establishments, leaving all students graduate job ready! International Hotel School produces excellent graduates who are head-hunted all over the world.

Their course fees start from R59 000 per year for full-time courses.

Chefs Training & Innovation Academy (CTIA Durban Campus)

ctia-logo

Chefs Training & Innovation Academy in Durban offers full-time, part-time and e-learning courses in culinary. The culinary training takes place in two halaal friendly, fully equipped training kitchens and three theory lecture rooms.

CTIA is fully accredited with the QCTO and has formed a long-term partnership with the UK based education organisation City & Guilds, offering international accreditation to students.

For information on Chefs Training & Innovation Academy Fees Structure, you’ll need to complete their contact form here. You can also contact the school using the contact information provided on their website.

The Fusion Cooking School

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The Fusion Cooking School is a privately owned Chef School started by Chef Shaun Smith in 2002 and offers culinary courses on a part-time and full-time basis.

The school is a long-standing SA Chefs Association (SACA) member and is internationally accredited with City & Guilds of London and locally with the Department of Higher Education through the QCTO.

Fees start at around R42 750 for part-time courses to R184 000 for full-time studies.

1000 Hills Chef School

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1000 Hills Chef School is an exclusive chef training school that offers full-time career training to passionate young chefs. The school only enrols a select number of students each year and is accredited by the City & Guilds of London. Their diplomas are recognised locally and internationally.

Their course fees start at R140 000 per year.

Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine

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Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine offers an intensive, nationally and internationally recognised culinary course with a 100% placement guarantee. The school has a maximum intake of 15 students.

Complete Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine’s enrolment enquiry form to find out more about their fee structure. You can also contact the school using the information provided on their website. 

Be sure to check out our Complete List of Colleges in South Africa.

Funding your studies at a culinary school in South Africa.

Pursuing studies at culinary school in South Africa will teach you the cultural dishes and foundational cooking methods, life lessons, including discipline to organisation, problem-solving and time management. 

You can finally turn your love of cooking into a successful career. All great cooks start somewhere – this can be your start! If the worry about how to fund your studies is holding you back, worry no more. Fundi provides student financing for tuition costs, study material, accommodation and more. You can also find out more about our loan calculator

Contact Fundi today to learn more about how we can help you develop and enhance your culinary skills to achieve your culinary goals!

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