The Singita School of Cooking (SSC) in the Kruger National Park has enrolled its fifth intake of students to commence their training as aspirant chefs. These young men and women from surrounding rural communities on the outskirts of the Park, have shown a real passion for cooking, having been selected for their special aptitude for this career.
The nine new chef students have started their 18-month training on site at the Singita Staff Village. On completion, the training course will allow them to graduate with the knowledge, skills and confidence that this life-changing opportunity provides – well qualified to apply for a Commis Chef position in a professional kitchen at a Singita lodge, or any other safari lodge or hotel.
Located within the Singita Staff Village that serves both Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni lodges on the far eastern reaches of the Kruger National Park, the SSC was founded by one of Singita’s own chefs, who dreamed of training and developing local youth to work as chefs in the Singita kitchens. With the backing of the Singita Management team, the school first opened in 2007, and, fiveshort years later, is one of Singita’s most rewarding community success stories, having trained 30 young chefs to date, 14 of whom are gainfully employed. Among these, six now work as Commis Chefs at Singita’s lodges in Southern Africa, and two former students have already been promoted to the position of Demi Chef de Partie. Many other graduates have been placed at lodges in and around the Kruger National Park, while some have chosen to continue with their careers elsewhere.
Caroline Burke, General Manager Singita Kruger National Park says: ‘In remote, rural areas equipping even one person with a good job and sound prospects, has a burgeoning effect on members of their immediate family, as well as the broader community. Besides providing a much-needed income, these young people also provide inspiration, energy and leadership to their peers in under-developed areas. At Singita we are very proud to be able to make this contribution to the development of people in the regions where we operate.’