ICT is a nonprofit chef’s school in Cape Town, South Africa, providing the basic cooking skills, professional tools, and all-important life skills necessary for graduates to obtain immediate employment in the hospitality industry.
ICT helps bridge the gap between poverty and jobs by providing graduates with not only the skills, but the confidence, determination, and long-term vision to embark on a productive and sustainable future.
Our work doesn’t stop when a student graduates. We remain in contact with our graduates and their employers to ensure a person's continued growth in the professional world.
Candidates are carefully screened for desire, commitment and dedication to personal growth. Individual attention is paid to each student, as he or she is often battling the scars and personal demons of a difficult and troubled upbringing and environment.
Over 80% of all ICT's nearly 600 graduates are working and supporting their families -- and inspiring others in their communities to do the same.
Woolworths South Africa is our exclusive and dedicated food sponsor. Many of our students consume more fresh vegetables and fruit in their first three weeks of class than they have cumulatively in their entire lives.
At ICT, we live by the proverb: "To change one life is to change the world." We are fortunate enough to see this happen every single day.
Complete basic training
in the products, skills,
tools, cooking methods,
hygiene and safety of
the professional kitchen.
Students have jobs after just three months of starting class.
Life skills are at the heart of our work, freeing students to take control of their lives, to engage with the world in
new and meaningful ways,
and to develop a personal philosophy with which to
continue to grow amid life's inevitable challenges.
ICT students learn to take
the long view toward a career.
Chefs grow and change, different interests and curiosities arise. ICT provides graduates with ongoing, year-after-year career guidance and counseling.
ICT students and graduates give back to one another and to their communities. Our work in local children's centers deepens our students' awareness to the plights of others, and allows them the opportunity to bring joy to those less fortunate.
A Sampling of Our Curriculum
Phase One: Ten Weeks
7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday
Boot Camp: The First Two Weeks
Intensive physical and mental training
Mathematics for the kitchen (and beyond)
Professional hygiene and safety
The Next Eight Weeks:
Continuation of above
The business and economic realities of the restaurant and hospitality industry
Formulation of The Professional Mindset
The proper use of all kitchen equipment and tools
Knowledge of cooking methods and ingredients
Proper nutrition and food’s place in various cultures
Knowledge of 35 herbs & spices
Cold Kitchen Basics: Fruit & vegetable preparation and handling; salads & salad dressings; cheese & dairy; mayonnaise
Hot Kitchen Basics: Stocks & soups, eggs & various breakfasts, The Mother Sauces, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice; meat, poultry, fish & seafood; grains & pulses
Pastry Kitchen: Basic Bread Making; flavored breads; muffins & pastries; cakes & cake decoration; meringue; custard-based desserts
Recipes and menu creation
Plating and presentation
Daily life skills conversations and exercises (this is at the heart of our work)
- Understanding the job market; polishing job interview skills
Weekly one-on-one meetings student meetings; personal and professional progress assessments
Participation in The ICT/Woolworths Feeding Program
Phase Two: Three Weeks
Students must be available 7 days per week, to work day or night shifts
Each student is provided with an internship in a Cape Town restaurant or hotel and work full shifts 5-6 days per week; transport paid; essentially, this is a three-week job interview.
Phase Three: Three Months
Each student must hold the job earned during their internship for three months in order to graduate.
Students must earn their way from each phase to the next. All three phases must be satisfactorily completed in order for a student to be awarded an ICT certificate of completion.