CommunitySingita Community Culinary SchoolKruger National Park - South Africa
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Cooking for the Future

The Singita Community Culinary School (SCCS) at Singita Kruger National Park opened its doors in 2007. Today, it offers a rigorous, Singita-crafted professional cookery course that sees 10 students drawn from local communities graduating as commis chefs of the highest caliber each year.

 

The SCCS program serves to fulfill a real need in the community, as well as for the South African hospitality industry as a whole. Graduates emerge with highly sought-after skills and strong employment prospects, while kitchens at Singita lodges and those further afield benefit from a pool of expertly-trained young chefs. Admission into the programme is competitive, and for those aspiring chefs who are accepted a very bright future awaits.

 

The SCCS is a significant step towards achieving Singita’s long-term, broad community development goal of assisting the families that live in and around the reserves to thrive, both economically and socially.

Key Successes:
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The number of graduates who have found new careers as chefs after completing the program

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The percentage of graduates who are currently employed. This result would be impressive on its own, but in the context of a province with a youth unemployment rate in excess of 35% it is even more significant.

How it works:
  • In 2017, the school's tenth year of operation, internationally acclaimed Chef Liam Tomlin became involved and made his mark on the programme, combining the grounding of theory with intensive practical training, most of which happens onsite in Singita’s kitchens.
  • Students spend time learning the basics in the state-of-the-art demo studio at Singita Lebombo Lodge, which operates as a fully-functioning practical and theory classroom, followed by hands-on experience in the five Singita lodge kitchens in South Africa. They emerge with skills, real-world training, knowledge, creativity and confidence to take on a commis chef role in any professional kitchen.
  • Each of the five Singita kitchens has its own signature style, enhancing the students' versatility. Exchanges with other kitchens - locally and internationally - are available to the most promising students.
  • The new SCCS facility at Lebombo lodge which opened in 2018 facilitates increased exposure to lodge kitchens and chefs as well as interaction with guests, all of which contributes to the development of the next generation of talented young chefs.
How you can help:
    • Sponsor a student to attend the SCCS. Your sponsorship will cover tuition, uniforms, equipment, ingredients, transport and a monthly stipend. The current cost to sponsor a student is R100k.
    • Contribute to the SCCS Expansion Fund which will enable Singita to offer this life-changing opportunity to more inspiring young people from the local community
    • Participate in a cooking class at the SCCS which entails a donation of R650 per person. Each class takes us one step closer to our SCCS expansion goal.
    Note that South African companies sponsoring SCCS scholarships may qualify on one or more elements of the B-BEEE scorecard.
Other Areas of Conservation
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Biodiversity
Community
Sustainability