PERFECTION. ICA PERFECTION.
Josie Romer-Lee, ICA Second-year student, shares her story.
Of course, being rated one of the best chef schools in the world by an acclaimed international body is important.
Of course, producing award-winning chefs and culinary professionals who are setting benchmarks in the industry is important.
But what is even more significant in choosing the best culinary school for your future studies, is what current and recently graduated students are advocating about their culinary journey. What are ICA students – those individuals that are actively undergoing the actual education process at the ICA – saying about their experience?
Josie gained invaluable insight into the tight-knit kitchen brigade that makes up a world-class restaurant. Teamwork, respect and perseverance are just a few of the vital attributes that can make – or break – the success of any establishment. ICA students are trained in so much more than just culinary arts. From their first day on campus, students are shaped to embrace the ICA Philosophy of Perfection. ICA Perfection.
Whilst refining culinary skills under the mentorship of SA’s best chefs during their industry placements, ICA students often stand out amongst their peers for the incredible work ethic they demonstrate, setting the benchmarks for others to follow.
“My time at my first industry placement – for which I was lucky enough to be placed at La Colombe restaurant on Silvermist Estate in Constantia – was a time that challenged me more than I could imagine. But it also taught me even more. What I learnt I know I will be able to take with me going forward not only in the industry but in life, and for this, I am truly grateful.
The hours that I worked were tough and sometimes seemed to never end. There would be days where we would work from start to end with no break, but these were the times where I would have to dig deep and push myself to get through. At the end of the day, I would make it, and this is because I had a team who was digging deep with me…something that is very rewarding.
One of the best things that I could possibly have learnt in the industry was to be positive and to never just give up! No matter what the outcome is, in the end, you have made it! I did not only gain a great work ethic and grew my skills as a chef, but I gained so much more than I expected. I gained a family who taught me how to laugh and have fun and who I know are with me every step of the way, and I can’t wait to be back with them for the second half of my placement.”
– Josie Romer-Lee: ICA 2nd year student – 3 Year Diploma in Advanced Culinary Arts, Advanced Pâtisserie & Specialist Culinary Field
The ICA follows a firm Placement Policy whereby students are not placed at an establishment, but rather under the guidance of a chosen chef-mentor. Students are closely evaluated throughout their academic year and the most suitable mentor is carefully selected by taking strict principles and criteria into account. The only way that such a careful selection can be made achievable, is by maintaining the ICA’s unique, focussed lecturer-to-student average ratio of 1:6.