No one can become a top chef in six months. It takes years of commitment, hard work, overcoming setbacks, and continued learning and growth. ICT gives students the tools, guidance, and opportunities to begin their careers, and to prepare for the demanding lifestyle of the professional chef.
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.
ICT classes are physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.
Students learn not only the language of the pro kitchen but improve their English through daily reading and writing. They move quickly and speak loudly. They practice math, critical thinking, and problem solving. They find the courage to embrace different cultures and face the fears that can come with new exploration.
Learning is a daily exercise and discipline.
At first, bodies may be sore from the physical activity, brains may ache from the quest for knowledge. But these are worthy discomforts -- growing pains -- it is about never giving up.
Students must be able to work nights, weekends, and public holidays.
This frequently represents a total transformation of lifestyle. To strengthen themselves for the challenging, sometimes grueling conditions, students must find their deepest reserves of passion, purpose, and perseverance.
Students learn to manage challenges in mature and constructive ways.
Throughout a student’s (and graduate’s) professional life, obstacles will be encountered with in the workplace and home communities. This is where ICT's unique life skills are crucial. Students learn new ways to solve problems.
Woolworths South Africa is our exclusive and dedicated food sponsor.
The value of their support and commitment cannot be overstated. 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.
All ICT staff members provide mentorship to students.
We stay in touch with graduates long after they receive their certificates, offering continued career counseling and concern for all matters at issue for them.
Students take control of their lives.
By building confidence, determination and a long-term vision, students work toward mastery of their craft and expanding their personal and intellectual horizons to keep the focus on their futures and their children’s futures.
At ICT, we live by the proverb: "To change one life is to change the world."
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: Eight 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 Six 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: Four 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.