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.
In 2022 -- the year of recovering from the pandemic -- there will be three classes (we hope to get back to our pre-pandemic four classes per year). We receive over 100 applications for each class and will accept up to 15 students per class throughout 2022. Tuition is free for all students, otherwise none would be able to attend.
Prior to COVID-19, over 80% of all ICT graduates were 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: Fourteen Weeks
7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday
Boot Camp: The First Two Weeks
Focusing on intensive physical and mental training; knife and life skills training; hygiene and safety
The Next Twelve Weeks:
Professional standards of hygiene & safety
The restaurant and hospitality industry, stations of the professional kitchen
Food costs and quality, the necessary reliability and positive attitudes of employees
Continued safe & proper handling of knives; professional knife skills
The proper use of all kitchen equipment and tools
Knowledge of cooking methods and ingredients
Proper nutrition and food’s place in various cultures and societies
Knowledge of 30 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)
Mathematics for the kitchen, Excel, and basic computer skills
Understanding the job market & job interview skills
Student verbal presentations
Weekly one-on-one meetings student meetings; personal and professional progress assessments
Six weeks of 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.