Hiring Your Next Top Chef

Feb 7, 2020

High-caliber chefs and sagacious entrepreneurs have created a booming restaurant scene in Cape Town and surrounding areas. The tourism industry in South Africa has grown, creating an ever-increasing need for a more trained and competent workforce within the hospitality industry.

Finding chefs via recruiters, online, or merely by a CV is not the best method to find chefs who may be the right fit for your kitchen. It’s far more valuable for a chef to see how a candidate works, thereby assessing not only his or her skills, but whether they are a good match for your business and restaurant culture.

So, how about trial shifts?

Offering a promising candidate a one-day trial shift (some chefs like to do a three-day trial) in your kitchen is by far the best way to determine whether an individual is right for the job.  You’ll get to see the candidate at work, in the very environment he or she hopes to be hired for. Further, inviting the candidate to sit down for an interview after a trial shift allows your conversation to be more natural and productive, as you’ll be discussing the actual work of your kitchen. Trial shifts should be paid, as not paying workers for their time (whether you eventually hire them or not) is not an ethical approach.

A good start is to look for chef school graduates you can train according to your restaurant standards.

Infinity Culinary Training (ICT) is a nonprofit chef’s school in Cape Town, South Africa, providing the basic cooking skills, professional tools, and all-important life skills necessary for graduates to obtain immediate employment in the hospitality industry.

How is ICT unique?

ICT empowers students from poverty-stricken backgrounds and provides guidance and support. The school is a space of trust and they encourage their students to reach out.

Not only do the students complete basic training in the products, skills, tools, cooking methods, hygiene and safety of the professional kitchen, but they also learn how to formulate a long-term vision and constructively address the many potential challenges found in the growth of a career.

ICT understands the pressures of the hospitality industry and teaches their students how to manage obstacles by harnessing their own confidence, strength and abilities. 

Melinda Wiggins, Operations Director at ICT, can assist you with placements.

Contact Melinda:

084 482 1502


More info on the school:


Follow ICT on Facebook

Cover photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash


Mandy Robinson

Mandy Robinson

Founder of Rotally

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