About Us

Considering a career in the kitchen? We urge you to come and get a taste of the 1000 Hills Chef School. Walk in the chef shoes of our culinary students, and get an idea of what they get up to every day. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next great culinary artist, say “Yes, Chef!” Our chef school, set in the beautiful rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal, is rated one of South Africa’s top culinary institutions. Studying here, you will need to step up to the frying pan! As they say, “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

We are driven by passion and hard work, and at 1000 Hills Chef School, we are dedicated to learning through practical hands-on training – as we say “Kitchens not classrooms!”




Our Founder | Sharmaine Dixon (Chef Dixi)

about usSharmaine Dixon (Chef Dixi) founded 1000 Hills Chef School in 2004. She has been training chefs for almost thirty years and is deeply passionate about educating young people. Recognised as one of the top educators in the industry and a world-class chef in her own right, Chef Dixi has taught and mentored several of the well-known chefs in South Africa’s culinary world. Chef Dixi holds a Master’s degree in Food and Beverage Management (cum laude) and a degree in Education. She established the practical and disciplined teaching model we use, drawing on years of experience as an educator and in her own successful restaurants and catering company. Her unique insight takes into account the passionate and creative personality styles that are drawn to this career, and this experienced approach to developing chefs is the reason for our continued success.

Chef Dixi retired in 2017 but will retain her connection to our school from the UK, where she will continue to work on placement opportunities for students.