We choose our students carefully, and passion and the right attitude are the key attributes we are looking for. The school only enrols a select number of students each year and our aim is to turn out top quality junior chefs for industry. We are very serious about what we do and are only interested in students that are committed to becoming a chef and working in industry.
We specialise in hands-on practical training to the highest standards, offering the most comprehensive programme available to students serious about a career as a chef. Each student cooks every recipe they are given, with repeated opportunities to practice and the course content is 80% practical.
Classes are small, with no more than 12 students per group, offering personal interaction and focused attention from our lecturers. Chefs and guest lecturers lead practical classes, working side-by-side with students to establish the team dynamic so necessary in industry. Steady hours over weekends in our on-site restaurant and deli, open to the public, offer exposure to a real-life working environment.
The school is accredited by City & Guilds of London, and Diplomas are recognised internationally, offering the opportunity for travel for those students interested in a global career.
All final examinations are set by City & Guilds and are moderated by external moderators, while a Portfolio of Evidence is assessed by City & Guilds to monitor ongoing progress. We are registered with the South African Chefs Association (SACA). Courses are matched to South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and credits count towards related degree programmes. We are accredited as an Approved Skills Provider by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
We encourage students to enter competitions, locally and internationally, as this offers experience working under pressure, gives them an excellent opportunity to learn from other chefs in the industry and inspires young chefs to keep abreast of emerging trends. Competitions also offer excellent networking opportunities and have launched the careers of many top chefs. 1000 Hills Chef School prides itself on the numerous awards and titles the school has won. See our awards here.
Since the school was established, a policy of continuous re-investment has seen our facilities expand and equipment grow. Our restaurant was established in 2005, and we developed our Craft Brewery and Deli in 2008. We have seven fully equipped industrial kitchens. Other facilities include three cold rooms, a smoke room and a greenhouse tunnel and herb garden.
Our venues are open to the public at regular intervals and students must produce at the high standard required to satisfy customer expectations. This real-world exposure builds confidence as students gain work experience while still in a safe school environment, and it offers the best possible learning opportunity for this challenging industry. Students gain a comprehensive insight into the food business, from supplier to customer.
We offer shared accommodation facilities for up to 44 students on site. The majority of students are in residence on campus and enjoy a country setting close to all the amenities of Hillcrest and Durban. Regular student socials and team sports and a fully equipped on-site gym offer a fun way to keep healthy and establish a work-life balance.
Our reputation in the industry means we have access to top placement opportunities, both locally and internationally. Our students have found employment at world-renowned Michelin Star restaurants as well as leading local eateries, such as Cape Town’s Pot Luck Club and La Colombe. We work with prominent hotel groups such as the Ritz Carlton Hotel Group in the USA to offer further opportunities to our graduates.
Begin your career as a Chef de Partie or Sous Chef in a restaurant or hotel, and work your way up to Executive Chef
Commercial catering operations for schools, businesses or hospitals
Work overseas for international exposure
Entrepreneurs can open their own business, from food truck or farm stall to your own deli, bakery or restaurant
Attain a degree in the hospitality field with recognition of prior learning at local and international universities.
Retail food service operations
Work on a cruise liner or even as an airline chef
Food Stylist or Food Writer and Critic