Victory was visible in the way they walked, in the looks in their eyes and in the way they spoke about the culinary industry … and where they belong in it.


“Very professional approach to the job. She came here very well prepared. Basic knowledge of food and skills are impressive.”

“Hard-working with a great attitude towards other chefs and the ability to work on a section unsupervised. Any kitchen will love to have her.”

“I really value the knowledge – practically and theoretically – that the ICA instils in students. Since day one, it has been a breeze working with ICA students. They are easy to relate to and therefore easy to train and work with. This student is the kind I would happily make Sous Chef soon.”

“She has the ability to multitask. Very good organizational skills. ICA standard is high because when this student got here, I moved her around the kitchen (sauce, pastry, starters) and she excelled in all sections.”

“She has good theoretical knowledge. She is always very professional, disciplined and takes responsibility.”

“A real pleasure to have in the kitchen. If he needs it, I will find a place for him here (upon completion of his studies).”

“The standard of ICA training is very good. The knowledge and training and skills are perfect for someone ready to start in this industry.”

“Fabulous knife skills, eager to learn and listens to instruction. Started trusting his food knowledge and fully embracing his work. ICA provides sound knowledge and high skill set. Students are able to grasp their role in a kitchen and a team.”

“The standard of ICA students is always very high. The student has a good general knowledge of the kitchen. We are able to leave her unsupervised and she can run the deli on her own.”

“The student has a great work ethic and works well with all team members.”

“She is always first to arrive at work and last to leave. ICA standard is very good. We have been incredibly happy to have an ICA student on our team during the high season. Because of her hard work and a great attitude, she has learnt so much over the last couple of months and is able to head up the pass and run a service for 80 – 90 people which is really amazing.

“She showed skills that are essential in the kitchen. She is always willing to go the extra mile when needed and was a very welcome addition to the kitchen team.”

“He kept a cool head during his training period here. He had great overall knowledge of the industry and cooking skills. He has a great attitude and gets along with everyone.”

“Always comes to work hungry to learn and eager to do anything, even if it’s scrubbing a freezer. Culinary skills are always consistent.”

All the comments above are quoted from the latest reports received from highly respected chefs, relating to ICA students who have just completed their second industry placements. These students were hit with the hardest challenges to face in any tertiary student’s time of study as the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic struck just a few weeks into their first year! When these students were still finding their feet on campus, still adjusting to life outside of high school and their parent’s homes, the world came to a screeching halt and the way everything used to work – from how we washed our hands and stood in line, to how tertiary education classes are presented – changed.

Students on ICA’s 2020 first-year intake faced the most difficult two years of study on- and off-campus, ever. During theory and practical training, countless measures were put in place to ensure that their education continued with an unwavering standard of excellence, like always at the ICA. During their industry placements, in the midsts of the hardest periods that chefs have ever had to cope with in modern times, more measures and adaptations had to be implemented to keep the wheels of learning turning.

The adaptations were made, and students had to keep up!

ICA students come here partially formed, but filled with potential and hope. They remain for a season, a phase of their lives. Lecturers shape, chisel, form and mould. The students receive, grow and are strengthened and filled. Then they step out into the industry for the first time, where they gain more training, more knowledge and more skills. They return to campus once more where ICA lecturers continue to build on the foundations laid in the first year – refining, honing and improving on the growth that took place in the industry. After this, students leave for another placement period – shining, strong, equipped and whole.

This week, students returned to campus for their 3rd and final year of study, separating into their respective specialization field tuition groups. The difference in their very being was tangible.

Victory was visible in the way they walked, in the looks in their eyes and in the way they spoke about the culinary industry … and where they belong in it.

The ICA training kitchens, theory classes (in-person, but during lockdown also virtual) and the restaurant industry as a whole remain a tightly integrated training ground for world-class chefs. Not only do students acquire the necessary practical skills to succeed in the wider culinary arena, but they also acquire the more complex soft skills to carve out their unique position amongst their peers when they enter the culinary stage as qualified professionals.

Once again, we commend these students for their perseverance. Their work ethic, mindsets and confidence were in part also shaped by this global historical event and the results thereof will have a lasting impact on their careers. Perhaps some might have valuable insight and advice to share with students currently working and learning in the industry.

Watch this space …


Applications for 2023 are now open.