Our School

ICT is a non-profit 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.

At ICT, we live by the ancient proverb: "To change one life is to change the world."  And 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

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. 


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.

Our Curriculum

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. 

There are four classes per year.  We receive 120-150 applications for each class and are able to accept up to 25 students per class.  Tuition is free for all students, otherwise none would be able to attend.

Prior to COVID-19, 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.  Over 10,000 student meals are served per year using the freshest, high-quality Woolworths ingredients.  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.

Phase One: 9 Weeks

Daily Classes, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday


  • Morning physical exercises: 30 minutes

  • Student breakfast: prepared by a weekly rotation of five students

  • Inspirational quote of the day, class discussion

  • Daily written exam on the previous day's work

  • Classroom module #1: lectures, exercises, discussion on food theory, recipes, menus, industry practices

  • Classroom module #2: life skills lectures, discussions and exercises

  • Kitchen module #1: knife skills; herb & spice drills; kitchen equipment drills; ingredients and cooking methods

  • Kitchen module #2: lunch prep; kitchen clean-up

  • Afternoon module #1: life skills exercises, additional knife work, menu preparation, food theory

  • Afternoon module #2: one-on-one meetings with students; personal and professional progress assessments

Week 1

Cold Kitchen: Basic Salads & Dressings
Hot Kitchen: Stocks & Soups
Pastry Kitchen: Basic Bread Making

  • Introduction to class rules, requirements for success; materials distributed

  • Introduction to life skills

  • Introduction to the restaurant and hospitality industry

  • Introduction to the stations of the professional kitchen

  • Introduction to the needs of the employing chef: food costs and quality, the necessary reliability and positive attitudes of employees

  • Introduction to hygiene and safety

  • Chef demonstrations; all students hands-on

  • 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

Week 2

Cold Kitchen: Salad, Salad Dressings and Mayonnaise
Hot Kitchen: The Mother Sauces, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice

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


Week 3

Cold Kitchen: Salads, Starters and Mayonnaise-Based Dressing
Hot Kitchen: Egg Basics, Full Breakfast
Pastry Kitchen: Meringues and Cut Fruit

  • Introduction to the egg and its variety of uses

  • Introduction to The English and Continental Breakfast; making Hollandaise

  • Expanding pastry kitchen

  • Assessments begin on the learned 30 herbs and spices​​

Week 4

Cold Kitchen: Advanced Salad; Cheese and Dairy

Hot Kitchen: Poultry
Pastry Kitchen: More Complex Breads, Muffins and Pastries


  • Proper hygiene and handling related to poultry

  • Introduction to cheese

  • The varieties of poultry and cooking methods

  • Proper usage of recipes and creating menus

  • All curriculum augmented with the ingredients and lessons used in the preceding weeks​​

Week 5

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

  • Additional rice and grain preparations

  • Proper handling of fish and seafood

  • Fresh fish filleting demonstrations

  • Mid-Term Kitchen Review on herbs & spices and all kitchen equipment

  • Plating and presentation

  • Students receive their chef uniforms

Week 6

Cold Kitchen: Advanced Breakfast and Fruit
Hot Kitchen: Breakfast Meats and Other Cooked Components
Pastry Kitchen: Bread and Pastry

  • Deeper work with egg preparations

  • Mushrooms

  • Further dairy and cheese

  • Continued work with herbs and spices

  • Advanced knife skills

  • Students begin weekend placements, Saturday or Sunday working an in ICT-assigned restaurant or hote​​l

Week 7​

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

  • Introduction to meat, proper care and cooking methods

  • Understanding the three-course meal

  • Understanding the job market; job interview skills

  • Assessments on hygiene and safety standards

  • Student verbal presentations to the class on their weekend work placements

Week 8

Student Menu Week

  • Students begin creating and performing their own three-course meals

  • Reinforcement of all life skills required for the professional world

  • Reinforcement of all food theory, products, cooking methods and kitchen equipment

  • Polishing knife skills, hygiene and safety

  • Kitchen pressure turned up

  • Coaching sessions to prepare students to begin their 3-week internships


Week 9

Final Assessment Week and Family Lunch

  • Final assessments on a grading criteria

  • Continued coaching to prepare students to begin their 3-week internships

  • Student's families invited to lunch at the school

Phase Two: 3 Weeks

Professional Internships

  • Students work full shifts, full weeks, in their ICT-assigned restaurant or hotel

  • Students are assessed by their placement's professional chef and staff

  • Students must report to ICT each week Friday, between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Phase Three: 12 Weeks

Student Employment

  • More often than not, immediately following their internships, students become employed by that same restaurant or hotel; if not, we assist the graduate to find another job

  • Following their internships, each student must hold a job for 12 weeks in order to be awarded an ICT certificate of completion

  • During this time, students must continue to report to ICT each week

  • ICT stays in close contact with the restaurants and hotels in order to assess the progress and growth of each student