Chef Jerome Peters is the Executive Chef Instructor at the Granger Bay Hotel.
Chef Jerome explains that it is important to have a senior certificate and have at least spent some time job shadowing in your profession. He believes that we must experience the harsh reality of our profession before we can really decide if it is what we want to do. It is always good if we voluntarily make ourselves available and get as much experience as we can.
The Cape Town Hotel School in Granger Bay offers a 3 year Diploma in professional Cookery as a division of the Business Faculty at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. When the students are accepted at the Hotel School, they have a work-integrated learning co-ordinator that manages the programmes that the students are required to do in their first, second and third year of study.
The work-integrated learning programme is a set period of 6 months where the students do in-service training in various professional establishments.Guest Houses, Lodges, Hotels and others go internationally, like Miami. The Hotel School offers a realistic environment of kitchen life. Students run two shifts a day – Breakfast, Lunches, Dinners, Conferences, Wine Diners, Weddings, etc. They cut no corners in terms of giving them the experience they need, the students are wash up people (pots and dishes), fridge cleaning, preparing and plating of food and grilling. The students become a Head Chef of the kitchen per day, giving them the opportunity to sharpen their management and co-ordinating skills.
By the time the students leave, they are well rounded students (experience in Accommodation Management, Professional Cookery and Food and Beverage). Students learn how to waiter (serve food and pour drinks). They run a six day week. Early shift starts at 6 am till 3 pm. Late shift starts at 2.30 pm and ends at 10.30 pm but could end up till 12/1 am. Some students are required to work a split shift where they work on both shifts. Many of the students that graduate from the Hotel School end up working in Hotels and Restaurants where they are expected to work such shifts. The students are provided with mentors that facilitate them in their performance. Students get assessed on practical sessions that is based on the curriculum. They use individual cooking labs for students to have engagement with their lecturers. The Hotel School tries to design the menu around the curriculum which is then used for student assessment.
Practical assessments include evaluating if students can clean a piece of fish, make white sauce or peel vegetables for example. These are first year basics.