Enroll in the most practically intensive course in South Africa and enter the industry with the skills & confidence you need. 
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Professional Cookery & Pastry Diploma

Course Overview

We believe the best way to become great at something is to practice.

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That’s why we offer repetitive training of the basic principles of cookery in an environment of one-on-one tuition.

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One year; Full-time
Mid January
Diploma with Highfield UK accreditation
Entry requirements:
NQF Level 2/Grade 10 Required
No. of students:
16 max.
Industry experience:
2 months September & October.
Learn about industry placements.
Early December

Professional Cookery & Pastry Diploma

Course Content

Students are taught classic French techniques and modern techniques.

More about the course

Who is this for?

This course is perfect for ambitious and driven individuals who want to get out into the industry as soon as possible, equipped with the abilities and self-confidence they need to succeed.

Start your career
Experience SA Chefs Academy
We invite you to come in, tour our facilities and join a class to see first-hand, what it’s like at the SA Chefs Academy before you make your decision to study.
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What is SA Chefs Academy all about?

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Why SA Chefs Academy?

Why Study with Us?

There are a number of places in South Africa where you can study some form of cookery but what makes SA Chefs Academy stand out from the rest?


We don’t believe in learning through demonstrations. Our students are in the kitchen practising their craft with a practical every day.


We have the most intensive course in South Africa which means that students master the basics and get out into the industry quickly.


Every one of our instructors are qualified and experienced chefs who can teach based on industry knowledge.


Uniforms, knife sets, equipment and ingredients are all included in course fees and students are not required to purchase supplies for practicals or exams.


Our cookery and theory courses are internationally recognised and Highfield UK-accredited.


We only send our students to 5-star establishments to complete their industry experience.


Industry Placements

After months in the kitchen learning and practising techniques, we place students at well-known and respected establishments to complete their industry experience. Here, students can experience firsthand what it is like working in a 5-star kitchen.

International & local students welcome

Students from all around South Africa and the world choose to study at the SA Chefs Academy, including students from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and England. If you are from outside of Cape Town, contact us for more information.

Get in touch

Why Become a Chef?

Career Opportunities

Run Top Kitchens
Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, London, New York…work your way up from commis to executive chef in culinary capitals around the globe.

Start Your Own Business            Restaurants, cafes, bistros, delis, catering companies…channel your entrepreneurial spirit and be your own boss.

Travel the World
Work on private yachts and luxury cruise ships and earn dollars as sous chef, chef de partie, first cook or personal chef.

Develop Food Products
Woolworths, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods…create the food consumers buy.

Style on Food Shoots  TV, film, digital, print…add your creative flair as a food stylist on menu, website, book and ad shoots.

Start your career

Who we are?

About the South African Chefs Academy

While heading up kitchens at hotels and restaurants, SA Chefs Academy founders saw how students and graduates came into the industry without the necessary skills or confidence they needed to succeed. The South African Chefs Academy opened to bridge the gap. Since its inception in 2004, the academy has strived to provide a practical course for chefs by chefs without the added extras that are not relevant to the kitchen. We teach the classic French repertoire of cookery and believe that the best way for students to learn is through daily practical training.

Meet the SA Chefs Academy Team

Qualified & Experienced Chef Instructors

Our students are equipped with skills and confidence by chefs who have worked and excelled in the industry so that they are ready to enter the real culinary world. Our resident instructors put students through their paces and help them master the fundamentals. Guest chefs from the industry are invited to instruct so that students are kept up to date with what is happening in the industry.

Paul Hartmann
Owner & Hot Kitchen Instructor

Paul qualified as a chef at the Hotel School in Braamfontein. During his career, Paul was part of, and later coached, the South African national culinary team and worked in a number of 5-star hotels including the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Paul first opened the South African Chefs Academy in 2004 and as an avid bread maker also owns Woodstock Bakery.

Jade Benjamin
Pastry & Theory Instructor

Jade earned her professional cookery qualification from Cape Technikon and mastered patisserie at Zevenwacht. She has worked in a number of Protea Hotels as well the Cape Grace Hotel, Grandwest Casino and Zuma in Dubai to name a few.

Hayley Africa
Hot Kitchen & Theory Instructor

Hayley studied cookery and after graduating worked as a chef de partie at Kelvin Grove. She also worked her way up the ranks to sous chef at Grandwest Casino’s Prive Lounge. Hayley found a love for teaching while training staff as a sous chef and now works full time as an instructor.


SA Chefs Graduates Successes

Many of our past students have gone on to excel in the industry, running top kitchens and opening their own businesses.

Become part of the industry

Ready to join the ranks of successful chefs, business owners and culinary professionals?

Enroll now
SA Chefs Academy Alumni


I started this restaurant with my business partner Papa San after working with him at Takumi Restaurant after it closed in 2016. As well as owning and operating the restaurant, I work full time in the kitchen. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SACA, specifically because of the ‘no frills’, rough and tough atmosphere. It prepares you for working in an actual restaurant kitchen. The classes are to the point, teaching real skills needed to start working professionally.

Benjamin Bettendorf

Co-owner Obi Restaurant

The course is great because of its hands-on practical training and covers all the necessary theory. Cooking everyday really sets the tone for what’s to come in your future career. It’s really all about the one-on-one practical training and acutely physical daily cooking that really makes this course more useful than most of the other schools that are theory heavy. It’s a relationship for life not just a school.

Ivor Jones

Co-owner and head chef Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia

Student Testimonials

What SA Chefs Academy Graduates Say

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Your investment

Professional Cookery & Pastry Diploma Fees

Once you graduate after one year of intense practical study, you are able to begin your career and start earning immediately.

  • One Year Full-time Diploma Course
  • R128 000

    per year
  • Internationally-recognised Highfield UK accredited diploma
  • 220 days of expert tuition
  • A cooking practical every single day
  • Hot kitchen & patisserie
  • Uniform & knife set
  • All ingredients & equipment
  • 5-star industry experience
  • Employment assistance after graduation
  • Enquire now

Find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you assist with employment for graduates?

Yes, we assist in securing employment at a top establishment of choice or similar, using our extensive industry connections. The rest is up to you.

Is this a recognised accreditation?

Yes, this diploma is accredited by Highfield UK and recognised by the South African Chefs Association which means that it is internationally recognised and accepted when you travel abroad.

What qualifications do I need in order to apply?

NQF Level 2/Grade 10 Required

How do I apply?

Fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page or contact us directly. We will talk you through the simple enrollment process and supply all the information you need.

When is the cutoff for applications?

We have limited spots available so it’s best to apply early but we do accept late applications when space becomes available. Contact us directly for more information.

How many applicants do you accept?

Each intake has a maximum of 16 students. Each student has their own workstation and our instructors are able to provide an environment of expert one-on-one tuition.


Start your culinary journey

Get in Touch

Fill out the form below and we will contact you with all the info you need.

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