FLTR: Kobus Prinsloo (ICA Director); Letitia Prinsloo (ICA Founder and Principal); Kobus van der Merwe (ICA Graduate); Richard Carstens (Beneficiary); Liezl Odendaal (ICA Graduate); Arno Janse van Rensburg (ICA Graduate); Merizle Mitrovich (ICA Head of Faculty); Pierre van Zyl (ICA Senior Chef Lecturer); Antoinette van Zyl (ICA Part-time Lecturer)
The ICA fosters a unique sense of camaraderie and community among its graduates, extending beyond the confines of the training kitchens and classrooms. This culinary brotherhood is evident in how ICA alumni support and look out for each other throughout their careers in the broader culinary arena and how the thread that ties them all together runs through kitchens and culinary fields globally.
On 17 October, ICA representatives attended a benefit dinner for the school’s next-door neighbour, Chef Richard Carstens’ restaurant, Arkeste, which was badly damaged during the recent Western Cape floods in Franschhoek. A selection of SA’s finest chefs selflessly donated their time and culinary excellence to cook for this glitzy event and of the chefs in charge of the delectable menu, all of the guest chefs were ICA-trained – a concrete example of the solidarity and commitment to bringing and keeping the culinary community together, giving back in its time of need.
Not only did ICA alumni heat up the kitchen, but front-of-house ICA graduate, Siphokazi Mayaphi presented the wine pairing. Again there is a strong link with Siphokazi having done her specialization field training at Tokara, where she is now employed full-time.
A huge thanks also go to Tokara Head Chef Carolize Coetzee for hosting the event and the consistent role she plays in the practical training of ICA students on an ongoing basis.
An integral part of ICA’s training is what is referred to as Industry Placements – a period of time throughout their studies where students are placed in a working environment to gain practical experience. We believe that these placements have a lasting impact on shaping students’ careers and for that reason, ICA upholds a firm philosophy of placing students not with the establishment, but under the expert guidance of a carefully selected chef mentor. These mentors offer guidance, advice, learning opportunities and a real-world platform for nurturing culinary talent and growth, exactly as it would be when entering the culinary workplace. Today, many of our industry partners are ICA alumni themselves, upholding and preserving the high level of training standards that were secured as a solid foundation during their studies and which helped them become successful in their own right.
Every ICA graduate shares a common educational background and experience. They’ve all undergone the same rigorous training, creating a strong sense of unity and belonging. ICA chefs are cut from a different cloth, the thread that unites them in an unbreakable bond. Their shared commitment to culinary excellence and professionalism unifies ICA graduates – from saving vegetable scraps for the organic compost heap in the ICA campus gardens to winning international culinary sustainability awards; from creaming garlic in the cooking training kitchen to being listed and revered amongst the cream of the global culinary crop.
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