ICA student, Derek Shaw, reports on his industry placement experience at Wolfgat, World’s Best Restaurant 2019.

Of course, being rated one of the best chef schools in the world by an acclaimed international body is important.

Of course, winning numerous awards for culinary education excellence and contributions towards this field is important.

Of course, producing award-winning chefs and culinary professionals who are setting benchmarks in the industry is important.

But what is even more significant in choosing the best culinary school for your future studies, is what current and recently graduated students are advocating about their culinary journey.  What are ICA students – those individuals that are actively undergoing the actual education process at the ICA – saying about their experience?

Current ICA 2nd-year student, Derek Shaw, has just completed his industry placement with ICA Alumni and World’s Best Restaurant 2019 winner, Kobus van der Merwe.  With an emphasis on mentorship, from the moment an ICA student enrols at the ICA to the day that they themselves can one day fulfil the role of mentor to other young chefs, Derek’s experience and exposure is certainly shaping a bright future.

“My time at Wolfgat is such an incredible experience – I still often have to check that it was real!  I am extremely grateful to the ICA for awarding me this opportunity.  I was excited to be placed under the guidance of SA’s Best Chef 2018, but never in my wildest dreams imagined how much I would evolve – not only as a chef but as a person – during this time.  Throughout my placement period, one thing remained constant: Chef Kobus’ modesty and unpretentious passion for his art.  Recently named Best Restaurant in the World by The World Restaurant Awards, Chef Kobus never shifted his focus, always staying committed to his kitchen and his staff. With all the media attention, his humble acceptance of the accolades whilst still staying grounded and focussed on Wolfgat reminded me of how our lecturers emphasized the importance of humility. It also struck me that the skills I learned in the first year were exactly the same skills that he was trained to master when he studied at the ICA…and it is exactly how he trains his own staff in his kitchen up to this day. This goes to show that ICA never compromises on excellence! I look forward to joining Chef Kobus and the whole Wolfgat team in London later this year for a 4-day food festival, taking Paternoster’s Wolfgat out to the rest of the world!”