Winelands chef school receives top accolade

ICA Chef Merizle Mitrovich City & Guilds Awards

The Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA), located in the Banhoek valley in Stellenbosch, is the first chef school to receive two International Medals for Excellence, by one of the world’s largest vocational authorities, City Guilds of London.

The ICA, which has been training chefs for 21 years, is the first and only South African tertiary education facility to ever receive this award.

It is therefore even more remarkable that a second gold medal was awarded to this prestigious chef school.

Current head of faculty and senior nâtisserie lecturer, chef Merizle Mitrovich, received the medal for excellence as tutor of the year.

She joined forces with the ICA 20 years ago. ICA-trained chefs have for many years dominated the SA Eat Out Best Restaurant lists – more than 20 ICA qualified chefs counted in the top awards over the past five years – an achievement not nearly equalled by any other training facility in the country.

Principal and founder of the school, Letitia Prinsloo, states: “I realise that students come to the ICA partially formed, but filled with potential and hope. They remain for a season, a phase of their lives. Trainers (like Merizle Mitrovich) shape, chisel, form and mould.

“The students receive, they grow, they’re strengthened and filled. Then they step out – shining, strong, equipped and whole.

“It is my responsibility to train world-class chefs that can fully stand their ground in a global culinary arena, armed with an internationally recognized qualification, said Ms Prinsloo.

“Merizle’s contribution, as well as all ICA lecturing staff, influences the calibre of top rated chefs trained by the ICA, ensuring their legacies are carried forward day after day, far beyond the physical boundaries of the training kitchens and classrooms at the Institute of Culinary Arts.”