Our Curriculum

Each session is 24 weeks in duration.
There are three phases to completing our course:

Phase 1
8 weeks of kitchen and classroom training

Phase 2
4-week unpaid, professional internship, wherein the student is placed into a Cape Town restaurant or hotel and required to work full shifts

Phase 3
Each student must complete 12 weeks of paid employment in order to then be awarded an ICT Certificate of Completion

Daily: 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday-Friday

  • Student breakfast
  • Inspirational quote of the day, written on the blackboard and discussed
  • Classroom lesson: informational lectures on industry practices; food, recipe and menu discussions
  • 15-30 minutes of physical exercise drills
  • Kitchen practicals (the bulk of the day), incorporating the information taught in that morning’s lessons
  • One ingredient, herb and spice is introduced and studied throughout the day
  • Lunch, comprising the food prepared during the practicals
  • Kitchen clean-up; disciplined, all specific duties assigned
  • 10-minute student break
  • Written exam, guest lecturer, recap of the day’s studies, or extra knife work

Weekly: events additional to the daily curriculum


  • Assign weekly rotation of five students for kitchen duty (making breakfast, kitchen clean-up, honing knives)
  • Assign the new country that is to be studied and spotlighted that week (as extra-curricular work, the students study on their own the foods of the assigned country; they are encouraged to take home books from the school library)
  • Weeks 2-4: students give 2-minute oral presentations to the class on the foods of the country studied that weekend.
  • Weeks 5-8: group discussions of the students’ weekend work placements


  • Complete written exam on the terms, methods and procedures, foods, key terms and information learned throughout the week
  • Students write thank you letters to the contributors to the school
  • Student/teacher meetings: each student is given a 5-10-minute private meeting with the teachers to discuss his or her progress, issues, needs and struggles; these meetings are private and all matters discussed are held in the strictest confidence


  • Weeks 5-8: students work a full shift on either a Saturday or Sunday at their assigned weekend placement

Week 1
General Orientation
Stocks, Soups, Fresh Salads, Baking Bread

Cold Kitchen: Basic Salad & Basic Dressing
Hot Kitchen: Stocks & Soups
Pastry Kitchen: Basic Bread Making

  • Introduction to class rules, expectations, requirements for success; nametags, notebooks and pens are distributed
  • Past graduates greet the new class; phone numbers are exchanged, mentors assigned
  • Introduction to the life skills required for success
  • Introduction to the restaurant and catering industry
  • Introduction to the stations of the professional kitchen
  • Introduction to the needs of the employing chef: food costs and quality, the essential reliability of employees
  • Introduction to hygiene and safety
  • Introduction to cooking methods and ingredients
  • Introduction to the proper handling of knives
  • Introduction to nutrition and food’s place in various societies
  • Introductory lessons to stocks and soups and the basic ingredients of several recipes

NOTE: the Week #1 curriculum is reinforced daily throughout the entire course; each week builds on and includes the lessons of previous weeks; all lessons consist of chef demonstrations followed by student practicals; all day, everyday, kitchen hygiene, cleanliness, safety and professional attitude are rigorously taught and enforced

Week 2
Fruit, Vegetables, Salads, Basic Pantry Ingredients

Cold Kitchen: Salad, Salad Dressings and Mayonnaise
Hot Kitchen: The Mother Sauces, Dry Pasta, Sandwiches
Pastry Kitchen: Flavored Breads

  • Identifying various fruits and vegetables
  • Salad preparation and making salad dressings
  • Introduction and proper use of new tools
  • Continuing knife skills
  • THE CUT: at the end of the second week, any student not showing the necessary dedication, commitment and work ethic is permanently dismissed from the class

Week 3
Sauces, Fruit, Fresh Pasta, Egg Basics

Cold Kitchen: Salads and Mayonnaise-Based Dressing
Hot Kitchen: The Egg, Mother Sauces, Fresh Pasta
Pastry Kitchen: Meringues and Cut Fruit

  • Working with The Mother Sauces
  • Introduction to the egg and its variety of uses
  • Introduction to baking breads, pastries and desserts

Week 4
Poultry and Potatoes

Cold Kitchen: Advanced Salads and Dressings
Hot Kitchen: Poultry, Potatoes
Pastry Kitchen: More Complex Breads, Basic Sponge Cakes

  • Deeper understanding of the hot, cold and pastry kitchens
  • Proper usage of recipes and creating menus
  • The highest levels of food hygiene and safety when working with chicken
  • All curriculum augmented with the ingredients and lessons used in the preceding weeks

Week 5
Seafood, Grains, Pulses, Intermediate Baking

Cold Kitchen: Advanced Salads and Knife Work
Hot Kitchen: Seafood, Grains, Pulses
Pastry Kitchen: Breads, Basic Cake Baking

  • Students receive their chef uniforms
  • Rice and grain preparations
  • Proper handling of Fish and Seafood
  • Fresh Fish Filleting demonstrations
  • Mid- Term Kitchen Review
  • Plating and presentation

Week 6
Eggs and Breakfast

Cold Kitchen: Continental Breakfast and Fruit
Hot Kitchen: Hot English Breakfast
Pastry Kitchen: Bread and Pastry

  • Understanding the many uses and preparations of eggs, cereals, dairy products and breakfast meats
  • Continued work with herbs and spices
  • Extra time spent on honing knife skills

Week 7
Red Meat, Desserts,
Understanding the Three-Course Meal

Cold Kitchen: Advanced Salads and Dressings
Hot Kitchen: Red Meat
Pastry Kitchen: Breads, Pastries, Custard-Based Desserts

  • Daily work on all of the above
  • Understanding the job market, an individual’s career trajectory, job interview skills
  • Life skills rigorously reinforced, with special attention paid to the pressure situations and time-sensitive performances required in the professional kitchen
  • Further honing of knife skills
  • Exams on the standards of cleanliness, hygiene and safety

Week 8
Student Menu Week and Contributors Lunch

  • Students plan and prepare a 3-course lunch menu for our contributors’ guest luncheon
  • Further reinforcement of all life skills required for the professional world
  • Polishing knife skills, cleanliness, hygiene and safety
  • Students coached and prepared to begin their 4-week apprenticeships

Weeks 9-12
4-Week Professional Apprenticeships

  • Each student is placed into a Cape Town restaurant, to work and be assessed by the professional chef and staff
  • ICT keeps updated on the progress of each student

Weeks 13-24
The Job: Commis Chef

  • Each student must hold a job for 12 weeks after the completion of their internship in order to be awarded an ICT Certificate of Completion of the course.
  • ICT will take great care in finding a paying job for each student, at wages commensurate with standard starting salaries within the industry.

Click to view ICT Class Rules
Click to view ICT Rules of Hygiene and Safety
Click to view ICT Rules for Professional Placement