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About Silwood

The Silwood School of Cookery is South Africa’s oldest cookery school, boasting student achievement unmatched by any other cookery school in South Africa.

The school was founded in 1964 by Lesley Faull, Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France. Over the past 53 years Silwood has earned itself a world class reputation.

Silwood graduates can be found in the top kitchens of the world from Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck & Dinner restaurants, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, Gordon Ramsay’s and even the French Laundry.
Nationally Silwood students and graduates dominate the kitchen teams of our top restaurants such as The Test Kitchen (SA no 1 restaurant) and  La Colombe. Londolozi Private Game Reserve to the Greenhouse at the Cellars Hohenort; from Food selectors at Woolworths, top caterers such as Escoffier, Annalize Buchanan and Pommegranite and Food store owners such as Melissa’s and Four & Twenty – Silwood students only train under the best.

Lesley’s daughter, Alicia Wilkinson, Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France, is the present principal of the school, continuing her mothers work-producing chefs of a world class standard.

Silwood offers a broad based culinary education equipping the graduates with the classic skills required in top international kitchens.

The school is surrounded by spacious organic gardens where students relax between lessons and pick and use their home grown herbs and vegetables.

Silwood does not offer a quick fix solution but a complete culinary education. Silwood students have won all the national Sunday times Chef School competitions – proof that our good basic food training is the best.

Even Woolworths chose Silwood as the school to train the recipient of their Taste Magazine Bursary.


Silwood is proud of the following students for proving their training best :

Silwood is proud of the following students for proving their training best


 Robert Garlick    graduate of 2005, Robert worked for Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants The Fat Duck and Dinner restaurant in London. He then worked in the pastry kitchen at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons under Raymond Blanc and is now Group pastry chef for D.Ream Dogus Restaurant in Turkey.

Elsa van de Nest-  Graduate of 1985,  is an internationally renowned chef, culinary personality and award-winning restaurateur, consultant and author.  Elsa worked at Raymond Blanc’s 2-Michelin star restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and Anton Mossiman’s prestigious culinary school, Mossiman Academy.   She established Elsa & Co Singapore in 2008. catering for state of the art catering events and culinary, restaurant & hospitality consultancy to a range of highly prestigious clients.

Talya Prince – graduate of 2006.  Talya worked at at La Colombe and The Foodbarn
under chef Franck In 2009 she moved to the UK to work at Le Gavroche under Michel Roux. In 2011 she moved to the  The Fat Duck . In 2013 she opened   T.S. Prince and Co Bespoke chefs items

Nik Tonglet
graduate of 2012 went from the kitchen of Luke Dale-Roberts no 1 restaurant, The Test Kitchen , to running Luke’s The Pot Luck Club pop up in Switzerland. He then headed to Copenhagen to work at, the then San Pelligrino no 1 restaurant, Noma, under René Redzepi.  Nik now heads up his own restaurant, De Houtloods in Netherlands

Ruth Hinksgraduate of 1994, owner of Cocoa Black Ruth represented Australia at the 2000 and 2004 Culinary Olympics, as the team’s pastry chef. Ruth was named Australian Pastry Chef of the Year 2002.  In 2008, she launched Cocoa Black, a chocolate school and manufacturer and retailer of luxury handmade chocolates, cakes and patisserie. Ruth’s accolades include UK World Chocolate Master and UK Confectioner of the Year

Frank Marks worked at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant ‘Dinner’ in London. No 9 restaurant in the world.  He then started his own restaurant in Cape Town called Borage Bistro.

Claire de Wit was at Michelin starred Pollen Street Social in Mayfair London and at Balthazar Restaurant and Bakery Berners Tavern London under head chef  Silwood graduate Robert Reid.  She has just moved on to take up the position as head of pastry for Jason Athertons new restaurant Berners Tavern in London.

Ash Heeger – graduate of 2011 – now head chef and owner of of trendy ASH restaurant off Bree Street.  Ash has a pedigree of the top restaurants of the world, completing her 3rd year of Silwood at award winning La Colombe restaurant under Luke Dale –Roberts, followed by the Test Kitchen.  In 2013 Ash headed to London where she worked at The Ledbury (2 star Michelin restaurant) under Chef Brett Grahamand and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. She spent two years at Dinner, learning from the best, growing in her talent and working her way up the ranks. 

Rosie While– graduate of 2012 is a product developer at Marks and Spencer UK

Robert Reid was head chef at Marco Pierre White’s 3star Mitchelin  Restaurant -White Oak Room in London and is now head chef of Balthazar London

Nicole Parry was private chef to Richard Branson
Julie Kretzmann was private chef to Rod Steward and Penny Lancaster

Angie Steel – graduate of 2000 spent 8 years working with Gordon Ramsay. In 2010 Angie was Executive Head Chef of The Recipe when they won UK Caterer of the Year. She then branched into teaching before launching her very own, Angie’s Little Food Shop, encompassing everything she loves about food and lifestyle.

Kate Marek- graduate of 2002 Kate went on to bethe  Private Chef for Formula 1racing team, Sous Chef at Lexington Catering before taking up the position of  Sous Chef at at Google Head Office London.

Sandra Nobre – graduate of 2012 has her own cooking channel on  Portuguese TV 24Kitchen

Emma Churches -food selector making ready made meals for Sainsbury andTesco in England.

Ruth Hinks: owner of Cocoa Black Chocolate and Patisserie School in the UK.  Voted confectioner of the year in the U.K. for 2011.  Won the title UK chocolate masters.   Ruth is the first women in Britain ever to win this title and represent the UK in the World Chocolate Masters finals in 2013.

Nicky Marx  After working at Marco Pierre Whites Yew Tree Inn she moved to a 1 Michelin Starred restaurant called Auberge du Lac.  She has now been working for Platinum Recruitment in the South of England

Freya Stead – travelled the world with Anton Mossiman as his assistant pastry chef.  She won Gold in the British Pastry Olympics

Tessa Thompson -product developer for a cake company in Berkshire England
Lauren Hampson worked as chef for Lord and Lady Margendale of Fonthill Estate in Tisbury near Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Louise Macdonald owner of the Sussex Housekeeper.
Tiffany Crouch has joined Woolworths in Sydney Australia as a development chef.

Darren Smith Lecturer Advanced Diploma Hospitality Food & Beverage & Commercial Cookery – Durack Institute of technology.

Norma Henning worked for Jamie Oliver and now owns Robson’s Butcher and Deli in Hampton Hill

Kate Weare proprietor of Cafe Twist at the Roald Dahl musem owns her own catering company called Katering Matters.

Miche de Winter co-founder at Amsterdam Flavours, Chef at Bilder & De Clercq and Chef/Owner at Senses Fine Foods

Annabell Wall was private chef for Robbie Williams.

Lana Doyle was Leonard di Caprio’s personal chef, before that she spent 6 years working for the Thatcher family.

Yolande Badenhorst was private cook for Lord Spencer

Helene Schoeman-Mittra  was chef de cuisine at the Michelin Star Grey Hound restaurant in England under chef patron Damien Bun.

Alex Taylor  owns the Sun Flower Cafe in Headford country Galway
Amy Batchlor runs and owns speciality cakes London –  all amy
Rosie Nightingale has a catering company in the Cotswolds called The Two Nightingales

Lucinda Cambridge is head chef at Barley Mow in the UKCraig Blackstock head chef at the Royal Air Force Museum

Joanne Robinson is in Brisbane Australia running a deli cafe.

Kim Horstmann was resident caterer for the law firm Traversmith & Braithewite in London
Sarah Wilkes was private chef for Sir and Lady Day in Devon, UK. Now working for Digby Trout restaurants at Hampton Court Palace, London

Leo Rodley chef at Harbour and Jones Contract Catering in London

Leishan van den Berg was head chef on a luxury private motor yacht, called Candyscape 11, which belongs to Christian Candy.

Judy-Lee Thompson, head chef of Wings restaurant at the RAF Museum, UK. She also won the Eliance chef of the year competition.

Amanda Uliana, Florida USA, at Boca West Country Club
Joachim Hassel owner Cafe Schneider
Umit Kaygusuz executive sous chef at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles

Claire Higgs runs her own retail business in Canada ‘Teas & Weaves’ with over 150 loose leaf teas and although not cooking this venture was inspired through her love of cooking and time spent in the early 1980’s at Silwood.

Hazer Amani was the head chef and Efe Onoglu was chef de partie responsible for food research and fine dining at Chilai Bebek restaurant in Turkey.

Wayne Gebhardt was Executive chef at Federal Foods in Dubai UAE

Delme Jacobs  cooked for the King  and  Queen  of Jordan now chef in private household.

Sebastian Stehr Yacht chef in the Med
Abdulla Abrahams
 was pastry chef at Atlantis The Palm – Dubai
Monica Flowerday was at Roberto Cavalli Café
Elizabeth du Toit was at Leopold’s of London
Gizelle Kennel runs a bistro boutique at North Island in Seychelles
Judi Fourie was chef de cuisine at Vamizi Island Lodge in Northern Mozambique

Dalida Hugo Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Manager at Roca Golf Hotel in Burundi.


Wesley Randles – graduate of 2009- now head chef and co-owner of the award winning The Shortmarket Club  voted no 8 restaurant in SA by Eat Out 2017.  Wesley completed his 3rd year at La Colombe under Luke Dale-Roberts before moving across to be one of 3 chefs to open SA’s top restaurant The Test Kitchen under Luke Dale-Roberts. He went on to be the opening Head Chef of the  The Pot Luck Club before starting The Shortmarket Club.

James Gaag- graduate of 2012- now head chef of award winning La Colombe restaurant. Trip Advisor 7th best restaurant in the world 2017, Conde Naste best tasting menu 2017, Eat Out 7th best restaurant SA 2017 and San Pellegrino’s no 73 best restaurant.  After graduating James also worked for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

John Norris-Rogers
– graduate of 2013- now head chef of La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek under James Gaag and Scot Kirton. Winner of 2017 Eat Out “Best New Restaurant” and Conde Naste “Best Hotel Restaurant 2017” Gourmet Awards.  John completed 3rd year at the award winning La Colombe under Chef Scot Kirton and graduate James Gaag

Ash Heeger – graduate of 2011 – now head chef and owner of of trendy ASH restaurant off Bree Street.  Ash has a pedigree of the top restaurants of the world, completing her 3rd year of Silwood at award winning La Colombe restaurant under Luke Dale –Roberts, followed by the Test Kitchen.  In 2013 Ash headed to London where she worked at The Ledbury (2 star Michelin restaurant) under Chef Brett Grahamand and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. She spent two years at Dinner, learning from the best, growing in her talent and working her way up the ranks. 

Aviv Liebenberg – sous chef at Tokara Restaurant

Anna Ridgewell executive chef Londolozi Game Reserve

Kerry Kilpin chef de cuisine for Bistro 1682

Alfred Henry – Head Chef at Cape Sun

Tony Rollinson executive chef in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Keshan Rambarun executive chef Sibaya Casino Durban

Natalia Sforza head chef at Ke-Monate wine bar and bistro

Mark Festus head chef at  Stillness Manor in Tokai

Helen Rivett managing head chef at Atlantic Suites Guest house in Camps Bay

Jaco van Vuuren executive chef at Londolozi Game Reserve.

Jean-Pierre Maree Executive Chef- The Turbine Hotel Knysna

Andrew Odendaal Head chef at Emly’s Moon River Lodge in Plettenberg Bay

Heloise Smit Chef / Assistant Manager- DUTCH MANOR Antique Hotel Cape Town

Stacey Chan brand chef for SMEG  – brand of kitchen cookers and appliances

Sharelda van Niekerk executive chef Shamwari Game Reserve

Emily Botha head chef of the Belfry Kitchen on The S A Institute for Objects Conservation Campus

Warren Carney at The Bombay Bicycle Club

Loran Livesey – head chef at the Pavilion Restaurant at the Marine Hotel

Susan Von Hirschberg Executive Chef  NPD  Freddy Hirsch Group (Pty) Ltd

Hannah McMahon chef at The Kalk Bay Theatre Restaurant

Sara Rickard sous chef at Singita Pamushana Lodge in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in south-eastern Zimbabwe

Karen Scholtz working for Garth Shnier at Sandton Sun as his personal kitchen Administrator for both Sandton Sun and Sandton Convention Centre.  Karen spent the last week cooking for her royal highness princess Michael of Kent

Alex Olivier  executive chef at Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay


Glenda Philp head of marketing communications at Woolworths

Kirsten van de Spreng the New Product Development Manager at Cape Herb and Spice Company

Jenna Shave +  Augusta Pitkammer product developers In2Food supplying Woolworths

Britta Gruttemeyer product developer for 7th floor, also developing for Woolworths.

Caro de Waal has started her own consultancy Eat Design and was the secret judge for the 2014 Eat Out Awards

Pierre de Wit is the Developer of Interactive Counters and New Business for Woolworths

Toinet van der Berg – Product Developer Woolworths, Product Innovation Manager Foodcorp, Head of Innovation Fresh Foods Pick ‘n Pay started her own consultancy “At The Table – Trends and Innovation Consultant”

Vanessa Wood is the new Product Development Manager for Tacoma Foods supplier to Woolworths.

Nicky Weir – Product Developer for Pick ‘n Pay, now heads up the Good Food Studio at Hurlingham, Pick ‘n Pay Flagship store

Jacky van Zyl, Vuyo Mkunyana and Katie Ritchie – product Developers for Pick ‘n Pay in their development kitchen.

Faye Clark – Product Developer for Woolworths, also worked at Marks & Spencers United Kingdom

Zani Muller  Confectionery product developer at a new division within Netflorist

Michelle Borkum is quality controller for Pick ‘n Pay Foods in Johannesburg

Danielle Smith has been appointed as product developer for both The Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen. In this role she acts as Dale-Roberts’s lieutenant working on exciting new projects.

Jodi-Ann Palmer– The Food Design Agency

Jacqueline Burgess is assistant to Abigail Donnelly author at Woolworths Taste


We are proud of our very local graduate entrepreneurs who have successfully started their own businesses and become known for their standards of excellence.


Marijke Duminy and Tracy-Leigh Genricks –Four&twenty Restaurant in Chelsea Village Wynberg

Melissa van Hoogstraten – Melissa’s Food Shop

Irma Spies– High Tea at Farriers in Constantia and wedding cakes

Christa Schonitz – Florentines off Main Road Kenilworth

Kate Marek  opened Gourmet Boerie in Kloof Street

Suzi Holtzhausen – award winning Gaaitjie Salt Water Restaurant in Paternoster

Kim Brackenridge – 7 On Kellner in Bloemfontein – her restaurant has won the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award

Talya Botha – Umame Restaurant in Saltrock

Oliver Coetzee– Two Dogs Bistro and Wine Bar

Simon Beggs – 2b Cuisine in Bryanston Johannesburg

Altus du Toit – Kitchen Windows in Jeffreys bay

Roxanne Floquet – Roxanne Floquet Cake Design

Juliet Hogg – Cakes By Julie

Daniela Dotan– Daniela’s Deliciously Decandent  in the new Cape Quarter

Angeline Boyd (Haefele) owner of Vanilla House Patisserie in Durbanville

Angela Papakonstantinou – the Wharf Street Brew Pub in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape.

Sue Barber – Managing Partner at Park Cafe at Black River Park Observatory

Judy Filmater – the brain child of Mugg & Bean

Claudia Giannoccaro – Salvation Cafe

Sarah Hepburn Brown – owner of Sarah’s Food Store

Alison Stoner-Harper – owner-manager Hmmm Taste and Flavour in the Gardens

Jamie Lorge – owner Love Food Kitchen – Deli – Cafe in Braamfontein

Elizabeth Bell owner of  The Rambling Rose in Meadowridge

Karen Werge Tilney author of Naturally Nutritious Wholefood Cookbook and owner of Ancient Grain

Tasha Jardim, owner of Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge, came third in the Female Entrepreneur section of the 2015 Business Excellence Awards held in Portugal recently. A total of 240 businesses from around the world entered the 2015 Business Excellence Awards including entrants from Africa, Europe and the Middle East.



Annalize Buchanan – Annalize

Annalize Sainsbury – Escoffier

Sheila Steenkamp Pomegranate

Rozanne Preston – Encore

Lauren Rohloff– The Picnic Company + Mustard Catering

Nicky Beaumont – Zest

Chanel Inggs – In Good Taste Custom Catering

Alison Knott – Lick the Spoon

Tamsyn Wells – Olive’s Kitchen

Tracey Reay and Nikki Reay – Free Spirit and Rhubarb


Ruth Hinks – owner Cocoa Black Chocolate and Patisserie School Scotland

Debbie Laatz – pastry kitchen lecturer at Prue Leith’s Academy

Sam Waring – Head pastry chef at the SA Chefs Academy

Jenny Howard owner Chez Gourmet

Roxy Floquet owner Roxanne Floquets Cake Design

Kate George owner The Food Room

Mische de Winter – works at the oldest cookery school in Holland – La Cuisine Francaise Amsterdam

Rinette Enslin – owner Olive Chef School Bloemfontein



Caro de Waal is editor Food24, now has her own agency EAT DESIGN

Justine Kiggen – Food Editor for Fair Lady

Lisa Clark – Food Stylist

Andrea Steer – Food Stylist

Kirsty Ratcliffe -source management  Catering and Food consultant

Claire Ferrandi is the new Food Editor for Food & Home Entertaining Magazine



Silwood is very proud of our association with:





About Us

Silwood boasts student achievement unmatched by any other cookery school in South Africa. Silwood graduates can be found in kitchens worldwide- Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc -all have a Silwood graduate in their kitchens.

Physical Address
Silwood Kitchen
40 Riverton Rd
Cape Town
Telephone: +27 (0)21 686 4894/5
Fax: +27 (0)21 686 5795