15 Best Culinary Schools in South Africa:Duration, Location, Benefits

Culinary schools in South Africa

While we were growing up, my brother had this undying passion for food. I remember my father asking him sometimes what he was really going to achieve by just being a chef with an apron. It was very discouraging but then my brother never gave up.

He started off as an attendant, but now is working for the German industry and creates absolute magic. Chefs will always be relevant. Read on to find out about the culinary schools in South Africa.

What are Culinary schools?

There are many culinary schools all over the world, which is a place where you can get brushed up on the several techniques in cooking. A culinary school is a place where you get educated in the science of cooking.

Anyone can get into the kitchen and cook, but to be the best there have to be extra sacrifices you need to make. Attending a Culinary school will not only improve your cooking ideas but will make you marketable in the labour market. Also in this article, I have listed the benefits of attending a culinary school in South Africa.

Ever wondered where you can go and get some cooking skills in South Africa? then this article is for you.

What are the most sought culinary degrees in South Africa?

For many who are passionate about cooking, considering a degree in cooking can be a good step towards landing your dream job. Moving from one career phase to another is very essential especially for those who are looking to move from just cooks to levels like restaurant ownership.

as we all know, certificates are what differentiates classical techniques and other Culinary practices. There are a lot of common Culinary degrees in the world, some of these degree levels include:

Masters degree in Culinary:

This degree level is for individuals who are well advanced in kitchen affairs. At the end of your master’s degree in Culinary, you must have developed some level of mastery. Getting a masters degree in disciplines like business and management gives chefs opportunities beyond the confines of the kitchen.

Bachelor’s degree in Culinary:

There are a lot of opportunities for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts. You get exposed to curriculums such as accounting and business principles which make you fit for serving as managers in most restaurants and hotels.

Associate degrees in Culinary:

These are the most sought programs among cooks. Associate degrees in Culinary can go fully into their career upon completion. you not only cook but also do things like cost analysis and menu development. Eventually, you can open your own restaurant if you choose.

Certificates in Culinary:

This certificate or diploma prepares you for Culinary employment opportunities. This certificate level provides intensive training in a particular area and gives you the necessary foundation as you advance in your cooking profession.

Usually, the duration is less than a year and graduates are issued certificates to prove their completion of the training.

Culinary Career Opportunities in South Africa.

There are endless career opportunities for you after your graduation from the Culinary schools in South Africa. You have the opportunity to work at the very run top kitchens in places like Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona and New York.

You have the opportunity to start your own business and can comfortably manage restaurants, cafes, and catering schools.

You get the opportunity to travel around the world while working on ships, yachts etc.

Not only that, you become a food stylist on TV and websites, and magazines. Other career opportunities are included in the list below.

  • Food designer
  • Photographer
  • Consultant
  • Menu developer
  • Nutritionists
  • Dietitians

9 Benefits of attending Culinary schools in South Africa

  1. You get to demonstrate expertise in preparing meals using very nutritious ingredients.
  2. You learn how to properly manage workers in the kitchen.
  3. You get proper knowledge on how to choose proper meal accompaniments.
  4. You get to learn the various uses and care of kitchen utensils
  5. You are educated on the proper ways to handle kitchen equipment.
  6. You imbibe a proper knowledge on quality customer care.
  7. You learn how to apply sanitation in personal and commercial kitchens.
  8. You learn dish presentations such as sculpting of bread and ice carvings.
  9. You get prepared for a transition from employee to employer.


The List of Best Culinary Schools In South Africa


Are you interested in being a chef? It is time to introduce new recipes as well as introduce new cooking processes and organize your kitchen.

We all know that the competition is high and standing out could be an easier way to get to your dreams.

Culinary schools in South Africa are so many, but below is a list of a few of the best culinary schools in South Africa that can improve your chances of being marketable in the labour market.


Culinary schools in south Africa
Culinary schools in South Africa

ICA is one of the best Culinary schools in the heart of western cape Winelands, South Africa, with highly skilled and world-class chefs. The Institute of Culinary Arts has been in existence for over 25 years and is an Institution where food is taken more serious than anything.

You can agree with me that there is a steady rise in the interest of people in food flavours, ingredients and cuisines. Therefore at ICA you get to learn a lot and get a chance to become a celebrity chef.

It is a culinary school that teaches you the science in food, teaches you how to think ahead of time, and above all teaches you how to strive for perfection.

It might interest you to know that ICA is among the top three Cooking schools in the world. Once you’re done at the school, you become an ICA-trained chef and you get sought after all over the globe.

This culinary school was Located in Pretoria but ten moved to Stellenbosch Winelands. However, there are no accommodations for students and they are advised to find accommodation off-campus to enable them to participate and enjoy exciting student life.


Location: silver vase Centre Musgrave , Durban South Africa
Phone: +27 31 202 6200

The Fusion cooking school is inarguably one of the top culinary schools in South Africa.

Their training are advanced and teach you all you need to know to be very successful in industries and top restaurants.

The Fusion cooking school is recognized by SACA and they have experienced and fully qualified facilitators. At Fusion cooking school, there are full-time courses as well as part-time courses.

Below is a breakdown of the full-time courses:

International Cook Diploma programme

City & Guilds certificate in food preparation and cooking(level 1)
6 Months
International cook Diploma Programme NQF (Level 4)

–City & Guilds Certificate in food preparation and cooking (level 1)
–City & Guilds diploma in food preparation and culinary arts(level 2)
18 Months
12 months at the chef school and 6 months at the workplace.
International Grande Chef de partie programme NQF (Level 5)
–City & Guilds certificate in food preparation and cooking(level)
–City & Guilds Diploma in food preparation and culinary arts(level 2)
–City & Guilds diploma in a patisserie(level 2)
–City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in cookery supervision(level 3)

3 Years
18 months at the chef school.
18 months at posted workplaces.
Diploma in Patisserie including one international qualification
–City & Guilds Diploma in Patisserie
(level 2)
6 months
Culinary schools in South Africa

Below is a breakdown for Part-time courses at The Fusion Cooking School:

  • Food Handler Certificate
    4 Months
  • Kitchen Hand Certificate in food preparation & cooking
    6 Months
  • Diploma in Patisserie
    12 Months
  • Advanced Diploma in Global Cuisine
    7 Months
  • City & Guilds Skills Awards
    2 days, 3 days, and 4 days depending.


The JHB Culinary & Pastry school has been in business since the year 2012. Here you get quality cooking tips and has continued to endure their students become professionals in order to compete favourably in the international space.

At JHB, there are international courses and National courses.

International courses at JHB
This Diploma in Culinary arts is basically for those who have a fundamental knowledge of cooking. Here you are equally given the necessary knowledge on working in the hospitality industry. This makes them unique from other culinary schools in South Africa.

For the International courses, you receive 30% theory classes and 70% practical classes. Above all, you receive 40 weeks of proper training at hotels and food establishments that are partnering with them.

National Courses:
The national courses are centred on preparing and equipping students with industry-relevant cooking techniques. Their classes are theoretical and practical, and of course, they are able to carry out this through their partnering organizations.

They’re located at 85 commissioner street, Johannesburg
Phone: +27 110245277


This is one of the best culinary schools in South Africa with over 20 years of experience. The PRUE LEITH has continuously invested in its kitchen and lecture facilities.

The beautiful thing about this institute is that its kitchens are so equipped with full audio and visual suite such that presentations can be done with microphones, cameras and LCD screens. Therefore students can have a clear view of anything they are being taught.

At this cooking school, there are; Full-time courses, Part-time courses, short courses, Specialist Consulting.

Part-time Courses:

Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine
Duration: 10 Months

Occupational Certificates
Duration: At your own pace

Foundation of Cooking
Duration: 18 Months

Professional Patisserie
Duration: 18 Months

Full-Time Courses

Occupational Certificate: Chef
Duration: 3 Years

Professional Chef of Italian Cuisine
Duration: 19 months

Introduction to Professional Cookery
Duration: 1 year

Professional Patisserie
Duration: 18 Months

Professional Patisserie
Duration: 6 months


This is one of the best Culinary schools in South Africa that doesn’t depend on demonstrations in teaching students, but ensure that students practice whatever they’re being taught.

Their courses are intensive and deliver their training through experienced chefs. At the end of their training, they are sent to renowned establishments for a proper industrial experience.

You get the opportunity to travel around the world, work in big cities and eventually start your own business.

At South African Chef’s academy, there are one-year diploma courses, six months diploma courses and day releases.

The One-year diploma course lasts for a year with two months of industrial experience training. It is mainly for individuals who want to get equipped with French and modern techniques as soon as possible.

The six months diploma courses make you grow a thick skin in the hot kitchen. It is a full-time course and lasts for 6 months.

The final one is the Day release course that lasts for 5 months and teaches individuals budgets and costing, safety & hygiene, and proper knowledge of a working kitchen.

They are located at The Brickworks, 13 Brickfield Road, Salt River, Cape Town. Phone: +27 021 447 3168


South African Academy of Culinary Arts is a beautiful and friendly Culinary school. Over the years this school has recorded an increase in the number of students.

Located in Port Elizabeth in South Africa, the South African Academy of Culinary Arts have qualified instructors who teach all week with a particular day for practice. Some of the courses and fees offered at this academy include:

  • Award in Safety
  • Highfield Certificate in food production
  • Highfield Certificate in food production and cooking
  • Highfield Diploma in pastry arts
  • Highfield Dipoma in Culinary arts
  • The Grande Diploma highfield in Diploma and Culinary arts.


This is one of the best Culinary schools in South Africa that will help you receive an international qualification that will make you employable.

It is interesting to note that graduates from Capsicum get the opportunity to work at large hotels, restaurants, ships, planes and islands.

One beautiful thing about this school is its ability to assist students during their industrial placements as well as study abroad opportunities.

Being in business for over 10 years, they have produced a significant number of graduates who continuously provide services, not only in Culinary services but also in hospitality and business management.

Some of the courses that you can get to study here include Advanced professional chef, professional chef programme, Food and beverage programme, Assistant chef programme, Rookie Chef, Short order cook, and others. Visit https://www.capsicumcooking.com/ today.

They are located at Newmarket road, Green acres, port Elizabeth, South Africa.


This is one of the renowned Culinary schools in South Africa that provides quality training for its students. It is located in George, one of the fastest-growing cities in South Africa.

Academically and professionally, Francois is one of the best. This institution offers full-time qualifications as well as part-time qualifications. They include:

For Full Time–

A year Full-Time Diploma in Culinary Arts
Three years Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking

For Part-Time

6 Months part Time diploma in Culinary Arts
1-year part-time Diploma in Culinary Arts.
Therefore, all those passionate about cooking can register with Francois to enable you to secure an excellent future.


This is one of the culinary schools in South Africa that is top-notch as they have taken it upon themselves to provide men and women from South Africa with relevant cooking skills and other essential skills that will help curb the unemployment rate in South Africa.

Since the year 2009, it has graduated over 500 students.
Undercooking, you learn cooking methods and hygiene as well as safety in the kitchen. Not only that, they equally provide their students with guidance and counselling in their careers.


Olive branch school is one of the top Culinary schools in South Africa that was founded in the year 2000.

The institution is interested in providing professional training on how to be creative with food. They offer International certificates and diplomas in food preparation and cooking.

They are located at Olive Chef School 14 Louis Botha St, Waverley Bloemfontein. Phone: +27 51 436 0695


The Silwood School of Cookery is South Africa’s oldest cookery school, boasting student achievement unmatched by any other cookery school in the country.

The school was founded in 1964 by Lesley Faull, Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France.

Over the past 54 years Silwood has earned itself a world-class reputation and has remained a family-run business.

Lesley’s daughter, Alicia Wilkinson, Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France, is the present principal of the school, assisted by her daughter Carianne Wilkinson, International restaurant judge and director of SA Chefs Association. The family continues to produce international top chefs.

A Silwood qualification guarantees 100% employment and the school boasts graduate achievements unmatched by any other school in the country.

Graduates can be found in many of the world’s top kitchens such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Rene Redzepi. See their professional courses.


Set in the beautiful Valley of 1000 Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, less than 40kms from Durban, 1000 Hills Chef School is an exclusive chef training school that offers full-time career training to passionate young chefs.

Established in 2004, our school has a winning reputation in industry, owing to our success in national competitions and the hands-on skills our students bring to the world’s kitchens on graduating.

They strive for excellence and our success as a school is completely driven by a dedicated commitment to making our students the best that they can be.

Their all-inclusive two-year course offers culinary training that is true to the industry and encourages excellence.

This comprehensive approach to practical training prepares young chefs for the world of work. Students earn FOUR internationally recognized City & Guilds Diplomas.

Exposed to all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they will learn their own strengths and achieve maximum employability. Check out their courses.


The HTA School of Culinary Art, an Internationally Accredited Chef School, run under the leadership of Stephen Billingham, former President of the South African Chefs Association, is one of South Africa’s leading Chef schools, conveniently situated in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and offers a number of internationally accredited programs that will equip budding Chefs with the skills to build a career in the challenging and globally competitive world of cuisine.

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Hurst Chef School offers a three-year Food and Wine accredited course which will launch you into the adventurous and lucrative world of culinary arts.

The course blends fun and practical learning environment with theoretical knowledge to give students internationally recognized skills in the culinary field.

This course is aimed at highly committed individuals who would like to become professional chefs with both local and international certifications.

Hurst Chef School offers a two-year diploma for professional chefs which is an internationally accredited course.

It will launch you into an entry-level position in the world of culinary arts.

The course blends fun and practical learning environment with theoretical knowledge to give students internationally recognized skills in the culinary field. Find out more.


This is one of the culinary schools in South Africa whose courses are SAQA registered and SAHI is accredited by CATHSSETA (613/P/000364/208).

Offers affordable education and training, they work with student financial assistance companies to help with fees 

They place students in 3 to 5-star hotels and conference centers for their workplace learning component.

Class groups of no more than 30 mean personal attention to all.

Theirr Facilitators have a Hospitality & Tourism background and are qualified Assessors and cademic support is provided by their dedicated facilitators.

Modules are taught in a variety of methods, including games, videos, quizzes & demonstrations. They are centrally situated just off Mathews Meyiwa (Stamford Hill) Road and are accessible by bus, train, taxi or car. They assist students in finding accommodation. See their courses.

Culinary Schools in South Africa FAQs

What is the difference between a cook and a Chef?

A cook and a chef prepare food in the kitchen but then a chef has more developed cooking skills acquired through some special kind of training, unlike a cook who has less training.

Chefs often specialize more than cooks, they know various combinations of ingredients with a greater knowledge of flavours.

In a kitchen that has both chefs and cook in it, cooks hold more additional responsibilities such as cleaning. Finally, a cook can prepare food that was originally designed by a Chef while chefs hold supervisory and management duties. Read on to see a complete list of culinary schools in South Africa.

How much does Cooking/ Culinary school cost in South Africa?

Chefs will always be needed in our today’s world due to a steady increase in hotels and restaurants. However, you might have been considering a career as a chef.

Therefore if you have considered any of those culinary schools in South Africa it is very essential, you know how much these schools cost.

Culinary schools in south Africa cost between 15,000 to about 150,000 Rand, which depends on the duration of your study or and the culinary degree you have chosen.

culinary schools in Gauteng

Having talked about culinary schools in South Africa, I will go ahead to talk about Culinary schools in Gating.

Gauteng is one of the nine provinces in South Africa, a home for a large number of South Africans.

Gauteng is highly urbanized and was the most populated country in 2009. Gauteng is a province that comprises of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Midrand and Vanderbijlpark.

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