Chef training: behind the scenes of The Classroom Café

Behind every great meal and dining experience is a team of people — and the training facility that made it possible. Food and drink is not just a necessity in life, it is a true education. And as such, we take our chef training very seriously. To see how we do it, we share with you our recipe for serving up success.


Putting our chefs to the test

Building chefs starts from the inside out. We view chef training as not only an academic experience but a holistic immersion in the culinary world. From theoretical lectures and practicals to exploring their strengths and testing their capabilities, we aim to do it all. Explore what a week in the life of a chef looks like for a better idea. We strive to provide a complete culinary course. Our courses have earned us a reputation in the industry, placing our students in top opportunities locally and internationally.


Real chef training requires real training grounds

The 1000 Hills Chef School’s fine dining restaurant and bistro-style café serves as the practical training grounds for culinary students. The Classroom Café spaces provide “real-life” training for students in our all-inclusive two-year course. Here, students practise serving and preparing food and beverages for paying guests in the safety of a school environment.


Students are sometimes required to do function work with external caterers and organise small commercial ventures. This type of work helps them gain further practical experience in the culinary industry. This is invaluable in preparing the students for the commercial world.


How The Classroom Café menu gets chosen

Now comes the exciting part of the training choosing the menu. A menu develops from trends in the dining industry, the season, ingredients available and also our syllabus. Students focus on these aspects, which then informs the menu revisions every semester (three times a year).


Keeping up with local and international trends requires research, which our owners and lecturers take on as a team effort. Much work goes into including creative plant-based, vegan and vegetarian meals on the menu. Conscious eating habits make for a grand exploration into the world of alternative cooking.


Classroom Café roles, shifts and what they involve

chef training


The 1000 Hills Chef Schools diploma is quite an intense one. Positions rotate and second-year students oversee the first years in each area of the restaurant. Students get to take on various roles in the kitchen. For our senior students, they complete an Advanced Supervisory Diploma, where they have the opportunity to hold management positions in our student-run restaurant. They fill roles like Business Manager, Front of House Manager and Head Chef. These roles are organised to establish a chain of command, which is key to run a well-operated unit that can put out excellent industry standards of food, beverages and service. In addition, they review feedback on everything from profit and loss to the impact of weather on margins.


Transitioning from a learning space to a commercial environment

Our culinary training team tries to emulate the culinary industry as much as possible. The Classroom Café’s kitchens are set up as industry-grade kitchens. This is where they learn that teamwork is vital and attitude is everything. Students work under different chefs in the Classroom Café. Our course structure allows students to move to the culinary industry with ease, armed with experience from each kitchen and chef.


New chefs: what they bring to the kitchen and learning environment for students

Every teaching chef employed is a graduate of the 1000 Hills Chef School. Bringing their world experience and expertise, they return to engage the younger generation of up and coming chefs. Between our ever-changing menu and course structure, our travelled chefs are the pièce de résistance of our training courses.


Join the chefs of tomorrow

We live for the ever-expanding culinary world — and bringing every student and dining experience together is our dream. If you have a calling to join it through joining our chef training programme, contact us.