And just like that, this incredibly strange year is coming to an end.

At the ICA, we have reason to celebrate! Throughout the most challenging year of the decade, ICA staff and students have once again shown great perseverance, rising to the challenge and stepping out into what lies ahead in 2021 with determination and passion.

A number of trainee chefs recently entered the Alessandro Narducci International Cuisine Award competition and out of the four finalists in South Africa, TWO students were from the ICA chef school! Not only did ICA represent half of the finalist group, but ICA final-year student, Initza Pretorius, was also named the WINNER for the South African contingency at the prestigious cooking event at SMEG’s showroom in Johannesburg on 26 November!

This is an outstanding achievement and keeps the ICA flag flying high!

With 2020 being a rather disordered year, ICA Principal, Letitia Prinsloo, was unable to make the annual trip to Italy’s countryside for the first time in 16 years. As is customary each year, the Prinsloos visits the quaint Italian village of Frontino, dating back to the 12th century, to explore the newest culinary trends in the region and stay up to date with leading cheffing happenings abroad.

Frontino was once again appointed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy in 2020 and it is here that Letitia sources rare and valued Italian ingredients to bring back to the ICA campus in the task of further developing student palates and broaden their culinary horizons. At the ICA, our emphasis on training excellence means that students have the distinct advantage of being exposed to tastes and produce from outstanding quality and variety, equipping them with culinary knowledge and exposure that surpasses that of their peers. It is therefore no wonder that ICA has taken the lead in yet another international competition!

Initza certainly impressed the judges in the way she executed the brief of utilizing beautiful Italian ingredients inspired by Italy in her dish of cured fish with preserved lemon gel and pickled squid stuffed with lemon rice, served with thinly shaved tomatoes, tomato water and basil. Italian culinary delight! It is no doubt her prior experience with both simple and exotic produce that gave her the edge! Initza will be cooking at the final round in Italy in 2021, together with aspiring chefs winners from around the world from countries like Hungary, Philippines, Slovakia, Morocco, Guatemala and more! The overall winner will be awarded a 3-month internship at the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, Acquolina, in the heart of Rome. Of course, ICA will be following her progress closely!

If you are interested in pursuing a professional career in culinary arts, click here to see what courses are offered.

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