How Much Does Chef School Cost In South Africa?

Anybody can cook, but it takes special talent and training to prepare the delicacies upon which famous hotels and restaurants base their reputations. Yes, the chef is the engine room behind any successful hospitality venture, and Chefs are getting more recognition for the hard work that they put in.

It is now common for more young people who are thinking about possible career choices to ask questions like ‘how can I become a Chef?’ ‘How much does Chef school cost in South Africa?’ and ‘Where can I find the best Chef school?’

I focused on Chef school fees and what it takes to become a certified chef in South Africa because that is one place where there is a lot of opportunity for the future. Smart youth can see that the hospitality sector in the country is growing, and thus the demand for competent Chefs is increasing. Without wasting time, let’s get straight to the cost of Chef School in South Africa, as well as other things you need to know.

How Much Does Chef School Cost In South Africa?

Chef schools in South Africa generally cost between 15,000 to 150,000 Rands, depending on the duration of courses, and the certifications that come with them.

Here are a few Chef Schools in South Africa and the fees they charge: 

NDS Chefs Academy

The NDS Chefs Academy is a culinary school in Gauteng, South Africa. They offer so many courses with varying durations and prices. Some of their courses and the fees are written below. 

  • 1. Course Title: National Certificate Junior Chef Level 1
    • Course Fees: R6325 
    • Course Duration: 1 Year
    • Registration Fee: R1,840
    • Monthly Payment: R6,325.00 (10months)
  • 2. Course Title: Diploma Culinary Arts Level 2
    • Course Fees: R69 575/ per year
    •  Course Duration: 2 Years.
    • Additional Course Fees: Registration Fee: R1,840
  • 3. Course Title: Advanced Diploma Patisserie Level 3
    • Course Fees: R7653 / per year
    • Course Duration: 3 Years.
    • Additional Fees (Registration): R1,840

Short Courses offered at NDS Chefs Academy

The list below shows some short courses that you may decide to enroll for with the NDS Chefs Academy. Please contact the institution for clarification about whether certifications are obtainable.

  • 1. Course Title: Basic Cooking Course
    • Course Fees: R3 250
    • Course Duration: 4 Days
  • 2. Course Title: Advanced Cooking Course
    • Course Fees: R390
    • Course Duration: 4 Days
  • 3. Course Title: Catering Course
    • Course Fees: R3 700
    • Course Duration: 4 Days
  • 4. Course Title: Basic Baking Course
    • Course Fees: R4 200
    • Course Duration: 4 Days
  • 5. Course Title: Advanced Baking Course
    • Course Fees: R4 650
    • Course Duration: 4 Days
  • 6. Course Title: One-day Biscuit Making
    • Course Fees: R950
    • Course Duration: 1 Day
  • 7. Course Title: Kiddies Cooking Course
    • Course Fees: R690
    • Course Duration:  3 Days
    • Address: Maccauvlei Campus – Vereeniging, Old Sasolburg Rd, Viljoensdrift
    • Vereeniging, 1930 Gauteng, South Africa.
    • Website:

Steyns Culinary School 

  • Diploma in Food Preparation & Cooking (Culinary Arts) 
    • Course Duration: 18 weeks of tutoring plus one-week exams
    • Course Fees: R55,000
    • Institution Address: 345 Glyn Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028, South Africa.
    • Institution Website:

The South African Chefs Academy 

  • Course Title: 1-yr full-time diploma in Food Preparation and Culinary Arts and Patisserie.
    • Course Duration: 1 year 
    • Course Fees: R100 000.00 
    • Academy Address: The South African Chefs Academy, 4th Floor, Garage Park Complex, Black River Park, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa.
    •  Academy Website:


Every Chef School has its own different requirements, but there are a few things that we can agree that they are reasonable general requirements:

The minimum entry age is usually set at around 17 or 18, and applicants are usually expected to have Gr 12 (matric) certificate or recognized equivalent. Literacy and numeric skills are of paramount importance, the standard being around ABET level 4.

Communication is essential for the proper functioning of any kitchen, and so applicants should be able to speak, read, and write English or Afrikaans. Applicants are usually required to come along with copies of any results or certificates.

The final selection usually involves a personal interview with the student and his/her parents/guardian.

Please ensure that you confirm from each Chef School about the exact requirements that applicants must meet in order to study there.


Chefs sit at the very hearts of every hotel or restaurant; they are the engine room, and they determine to a large extent the reputation, and success of these establishments. Talented Chefs are in high demand because every hotel or restaurant needs Chefs.

There is therefore a high level of job security in the kitchen. Job security is a very attractive prospect in today’s world of economic instability and a high rate of job losses. 

Chefs in South Africa typically earn about R21,000 per month, while some Head Chefs earn as high as R301,222 every month. Of course, experience on the job comes into play, and so also do market forces and the talents and abilities of individual chefs as well.

The earning potential of a chef seems unlimited and only hindered by the height of his own creativity. Some Chefs start in a kitchen somewhere and end up owning their own restaurants. Some create their own signature dishes that people come from all over the world to sample. Some Chefs even end up on TV! The important thing is to be creative, be hard-working, and be willing to take risks.

We know that not everybody can be a celebrity Chef, but nevertheless, we can say with absolute certainty that the life of a Chef can be a very financially rewarding one, and a very stable one also. 

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There remains the argument as to whether culinary skills are a God-given talent, or whether they can be imbibed through teaching. This is because some of the great chefs ventured into the culinary arts on their own. 

Well, whatever the truth may be, we cannot doubt the fact that God-given talents can be developed at the hands of skilled masters. Even if you were born with the ability to produce culinary wonders, you should still avail yourself of training at a reputable institution. That will improve your chances of having a great career in the kitchen.

Tag: How Much Does Chef School Cost In South Africa?