Our School

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.

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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.

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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.

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COOKing

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.

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life skills

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.

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careers

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. 

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Giving Back

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

Daily Classes

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

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Phase Two: Three Weeks

Professional Internships

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

Employment

  • 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.