LUST Bistro & Bakery, run by ICA Graduate, Jean-Pierre Smith on the award-winning Vrede & Lust Wine Estate, was the immaculate Winelands venue for one of the ICA’s yearly calendar highlights: the 2017 Graduation Ceremony.  Students from the Institute of Culinary Arts received their respective ICA and City & Guilds International qualifications and are now armed with the best culinary stamp of approval South Africa has to offer!  During her welcoming speech, ICA graduate and acclaimed food-media professional, Katelyn Williams, emphasized that what she learnt at the ICA from classes, lectures and during placements, has given her “the solid foundation, skills and work ethic to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way”.  Katelyn congratulated all the graduates, urging them to follow their culinary passions.

The 2017 Alumni speaker was Nicole Serfontein.  Nicole painted a delightful picture of her personal journey of becoming a chef, noting the strong sense of community that is formed between students in the training kitchens of the ICA.  “I had no idea that I could learn that much every single day.  And looking back at who we were and what we knew then, to who we are now, is pretty impressive.  Remember what you have learned and don’t forget that the knowledge we possess is so vast and powerful.  There is a reason that chefs (in the industry) prefer ICA students to work in their kitchens.”  Nicole ended with an inspirational quote of 4 tips for the future from Joyce Didonato from world-leading Julliard Arts School in New York:

  • Commit to the journey. The outcome will always fall short of expectation.
  • When things become overwhelming, return to the work where there will always be truth and solace.
  • It’s not about you. This can be a hard, humbling lesson to face, but it’s a freeing and empowering truth.
  • The world needs you. Bring that innocent, childlike wonder to your craft.  It will continually teach you to be present, to be alive and how to let go.