Come rain, sunshine or snow, views from the beautiful Banhoek campus just outside of Stellenbosch are always breathtakingly spectacular.

Training persists through pandemic disruptions

The view en route to campus this morning reminded us of the beauty and possibilities that can be found even during the toughest of times.

After the President addressed SA on Sunday evening, the restaurant industry released a slightly more optimistic sigh of relief with the current Level 4 lockdown regulations being adjusted to allow restaurants to operate once again – within certain boundaries.

Still, the industry at large has been severely affected by the limitations placed on it as a direct result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The ICA as a tertiary training institute also had to implement major adjustments and strategies in order to continue in its quest to educate and train culinary professionals of the highest possible standard. As with many other industries and businesses, this task is certainly no small feat and the sheer staff dedication and determination that goes into keeping the school running at its best, and students trained and prepared for their careers in the culinary world, have to be highlighted!

In keeping with our ethos of culinary excellence, the ICA has ensured that ALL classes and lessons were delivered to enrolled students and nothing got left behind. The same dedication and standard of training have been executed during 2020 and 2021 as having always been throughout the school’s existence of more than 25 years, which is evident in the positive feedback received from the industry during the recent placements reports from restaurants throughout the country.

The true result of the quality of training at the ICA lies in the performance and achievements of our students and graduates. ICA partners with South Africa’s leading restaurants at the forefront of the country’s culinary scene, some of which are listed under the Top 10, to provide in-service experiential training and mentorship during students’ placement blocks. This mentorship component, during industry placements, forms an integral part of the ICA’s training program and has a lasting influence on how our future chefs and culinary industry professionals are shaped and moulded. The ICA, therefore, holds this period of training in the same high regard as time on campus or in class – albeit virtual theory classes where necessary.

Showing consistent perseverance and enthusiasm, rosters were amended multiple times, plans and actions were put in place and lecturers continued to deliver training without compromising quality – evident from a few excerpts taken from industry reports received on the performance of ICA students in the kitchens of some of the country’s best restaurants below:

“Alex played a big part in our day to day operations during her placement. Her flexibility to move between sections, adaptability and punctuality are her biggest strength. ICA has the best training on all levels, to any other schools, bar none.”

“Ruben showed a very good understanding of how a section runs and how the kitchen works. He works fast, neatly and shows great knife skills. ICA remains one of the top cheffing schools. I always look forward to welcoming an ICA block, for ICA students are eager, interested and knowledgeable.”

“Robin has grown so much in confidence and I’ve come to rely on her almost from Day 1 to show others the standard required. I consider ICA to be the only standard for industry training and is the only culinary school that I accept for working with students. Students are not just of the highest level, but they are also humble, hungry to learn, patient, kind and positive – traits that are rare or impossible to find elsewhere. ICA moulds their personalities as well as their skills.”

If, like the chefs quoted above, you believe in the ICA and the school’s constant strive for training excellence, you can cast your vote for the ICA as nominee for Africa’s Best Culinary Training Institution 2021 in the second annual World Culinary Awards by clicking the link below:

CAST YOUR VOTE: Africa’s Best Culinary Training Institution 2021