Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe congratulates South African’s first artisans chefs

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe has congratulated the first cohort of South African chefs that graduated as artisan chefs at the newly accredited Prue Leith Chefs Trade Test Centre in Centurion.

This historic milestone will contribute towards developing South Africa’s food tourism as well as boost destination marketing and position the country for culinary excellence because all of the graduates who have qualified as assessors for the trade test are mentors at reputable chef schools across the country, said Deputy Minister Thabethe applauding seven top chefs that received their occupational certificates from the National Artisan Moderation Board (NAMB) at a graduation ceremony held earlier in the week.

Thabethe said that South African Chefs are highly sought after the world over because of the high standards of training they receive from local institutions in partnership with City and Guilds and the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA).

She commended the National Artisan Moderation Body(NAMB) , the Culture, Arts, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority(CATHSSETTA) and the South African Chefs Association(SACA) for the role they are playing in producing highly skilled home-grown chefs and executive chefs.

“The journey that the technical working group (TWG) travelled reminds us of what our world icon Nelson Mandela meant when he said,’It always seems impossible until it is done,” she added.

SACA General Manager, Thomas Overberg in his speech delivered at the graduation ceremony extoled the (TWG) that had spent the past three years and a half working intensively to create a valuable and relevant assessment for the occupational qualification chef and most for completing the task and obtaining the certificate.

Artisan Chef graduate Adele Stiehler-van der Westhuizen of the Prue Leith Chefs Academy said that members of the TWG had shared their passions as they travelled, worked and argued together.

Relationships formed. A culinary educators sister and brotherhood. Chefs that share. Something that can be quite rare in the industry, but perhaps it is because we all share an immense passion for this industry and we wish for it to reach Culinary excellence, emphasised Stiehler-van der Westhuizen.

She expressed hope that the TWG’s three year towards the completion of the new national Quality Council for Trade and Occupations qualification through Recognition of Prior Learning to complete South Africa’s first trade test for chefs will result in world class chefs for South Africa.

Other artisan chefs that received their occupational certificates include Carienne Wilkinson of Silwood School of Cookery, Fatima Stanley of Master Chef Academy, Shaun Smith of Fusion Cooking School, Elsu Gericke of SA Chefs, Tommie Hurter of Limpopo Chefs Academy and the Independent Hospitality Consultant, Chef June Steenekamp.

The NAMB artisan trade test was piloted on the trainees of the National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) currently been implemented by SACA in partnership with the National Department of Tourism.

Source: Government of South Africa