The in service professional chef apprenticeship program has been developed and is currently being run by Hospitality Trainers and Associates (HTA), a Johannesburg-based company that has been involved in training
chefs for ten (10) years.
This programme will be implemented in the Totally Kosher kitchen as a means of uplifting staff members who show potential as aspiring chefs.
Practical training will take place in the Totally Kosher kitchen while under the supervision of an HTA quality assessor.
Scheduled workplace visits will be made throughout the year to monitor and report on students’
work based training progress. Once a year, apprentices are required to attend a six (6) week block release at the HTA premises.
The purpose of the block release is to provide learners with the theoretical modules not normally obtained in the workplace. At the end of each block release, all apprentices undergo a number of examinations which must be passed in order for the individual to progress to the next level of training.
At the end of the three (3) year training period successful apprentices would have received training in food costing: French cooking terminology; principles of kitchen management; menu planning; food and beverage service; catering theory; dietetics and nutrition; food storage; stock control; and micro-organisms and food spoilage. Furthermore apprentices will receive an internationally recognised Diploma in Food Preparation and Culinary Art, certified by the City and Guilds Institute of London.
Before being considered for the program, staff will have had to have been employed by Totally Kosher for a minimum of twelve (12) months. All selections will be done on the basis of merit while taking into consideration absenteeism, motivation, commitment to the culinary industry and the company, personal initiative, interaction with other staff members and the likelihood of successfully completing the course. On successful selection, candidates will be required to sign a four (4) year contract which will include the three (3) years to complete the diploma and an additional one (1) year which will be regarded as a year of work to repay the return on investment. It is believed that by offering this programme to deserving staff members it will result in a qualified, motivated and loyal staff complement which in turn justifies the cost to the company.
Training in the culinary arts has become a popular career option for school leavers and there are numerous training providers around the country who offer such training.
None of these training institutes however concentrate specifically on kosher cooking methods, which could be challenging for religious Jewish school leavers who are interested in becoming kosher chefs.
Totally Kosher believes that by entering into a partnership with the parents of such school leavers and the HTA, this will present the ideal solution to the current lack of specialized training and will enable any Jewish aspiring chef to receive the training that he or she deserves. By means of an interview and a probationary six (6) month work programme, a predetermined number of Jewish learners will be taken into the employment of Totally Kosher annually at a minimal salary.
They will complete their practical training in the Totally Kosher factory and will be sent on the theory block releases described above; however the students
will be required to cover the cost of the Diploma course. In doing so, Totally Kosher will be assisting members of the community in which it operates to achieve their dreams of entering into the exciting world of food.
This is the first institute at which aspiring Jewish chefs can receive an internationally recognised qualification in Food Preparation and Culinary Art without compromising their religious beliefs.
In order to promote the unique characteristics of kosher cookery and to strengthen ties between other local training institutes, the Totally Kosher kitchen will be available to students from surrounding institutes,
should they wish to understand the distinct challenges of kosher cooking.
Totally Kosher will benefit from the additional staff in the kitchen for certain periods and form relationships with the training providers.