Invest in Your Future

The investment in tertiary study and the success-potential that investment holds, is not a decision to be taken lightly.

When applicants enroll at the ICA, their focus must rest on full immersion in studying toward a globally recognized culinary qualification. The financial investment is an all-inclusive tuition fee and the burden of additional costs is kept to an absolute minimum at all times.

ICA courses, both practical and theoretical, involve passionate one-on-one and in-person training by our specialist lecturers and training providers who are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their craft. Students receive practical training in classes with an average lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:6, before embarking on experiential industry training in some of the most highly awarded and celebrated restaurant kitchens South Africa – and the world – has to offer. Here, carefully chosen chef mentors are then tasked with further enhancing the expansion of their culinary art, building on the strong foundations laid on campus in the first year.

However, during their 2nd and 3rd years of study, students do not stay in the industry but return to the ICA campus once again for advanced academic blocks. Theory and practical tuition are as intensive – if not more – as in the first year and the growth and experience gained in the industry can be confidently applied. Each academic year is thus supplemented by experiential industry training with specialized industry training in Media Communication, Product Development of Professional Wine Studies & Event Coördination in their 3rd year.

In order for students to be able to get the most out of their culinary training on campus, the ICA provides ALL ingredients for ALL practical classes, assessments, and examinations. Students are not expected to buy their own ingredients for classes, and all students receive the same quality of ingredients to work with.

The ICA has an annual intake of a maximum of 36 students. Because of this small number, tuition is personal and thorough. Nothing escapes the trained eye of an ICA lecturer, which means individual attention will be given to all students. To understand the quantities of ingredients needed amongst this year’s 1st-year students, a quick tally brought to life just how much chopping, dicing, cutting, and slicing happens in Term 1!  Knife skills are a hugely important technique to perfect if you want to become a world-class chef, and students practice an assortment thereof over and over … and OVER!

To name just a few ingredients, 34 students utilized 449 potatoes, 356 onions, 353 carrots, 284 garlic cloves, 194 tomatoes, and 997 eggs in just 2 months of study in 2022!

To develop and refine their palates, students have to taste what they’ve learned in class. Experiencing the mouth-feel of a certain component on a plate, feeling and noticing the textures, and tasting the sharp, sweet, bitter, salty, hot, spicy, sour, or umami flavors all become part of daily training, turning unfamiliar taste experiences into distinct fields of proficiency over time. Students are exposed to a wide variety of imported exotic ingredients, some of which are a once-in-a-lifetime experience due to their rare availability or import cost! Sought-after black and white truffles from the Italian countryside, barrel-aged balsamic vinegar that are 33 years old, precious delicacies from the ocean, or a carefully selected array of salt and chocolate types ensure that students acquire a sophisticated palate that will in turn enhance their cooking ability and take their cheffing skills to the next level.

Of course, this beckons the question of what happens to unused ingredients from our training kitchens?

Sustainability and social responsibility lie at the heart of the ICA’s business model. From the first day on campus, students are trained in the importance of reducing food waste, recycling, respect for ingredients and sustainable sourcing. All ingredients that were used in practical class, but were not tasted, are donated to a local feeding scheme, giving back to the local community soup kitchens and helping those in dire need. Whatever food waste is not fit for human consumption is composted back into the organic campus vegetable and herb gardens, becoming part of the cycle to produce top-quality ingredients that will again be used in future classes.

It is a well-known fact that the level of one-on-one training and in-person tuition students receive during their academic blocks at the ICA, is intensive and of outstanding quality.

The emphasis remains on culinary education excellence. When all students receive the exact same ingredients to work with, no one is ahead or left behind due to budget availability or constraints.


Applications for 2023 are now open.