Professional Courses

Professional Course Info

“The Food Education”

The recipe: a broad based culinary education equipping graduates with the classic skills required in the international, world class kitchen. After 54 years, Silwood’s recipe is flop proof.

Silwood was started in 1964 and has remained a small family-run business, boasting student achievements unmatched by any other school in the country. Our graduates are sought-after worldwide.

The full Silwood qualification is made up of 3 courses: a certificate, diploma and grande diplome. Silwood also offers a 1 year part-time patisserie diploma.

Certificate Course – year 1
Diploma Course – year 2
Grande Diplome Course – year 3

Certificate in Patisserie – 1 year part-time

Fine Dining Apprenticeship Course

To apply email 

Silwood Grande Diplome graduates are eligible to apply for entrance into the University of Cape Towns’ postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship (management), offered by the Department of Commerce.  see details

Silwood Certificate Course 

A one year, full-time intensive course during which students master all the professional methods and techniques needed for a career in a professional kitchen. The Certificate Course forms part 1 of the full Silwood Grande Diplome Qualification, which is 3 years.

A maximum of 48 students are selected each year and classes are limited to 12, so students receive the best, individual instruction and attention.

Students not only master the classic cooking methods and techniques in the course but also budgeting, costing and purchasing. This is achieved by making the student responsible for the purchasing and costing of all the ingredients needed for practical classes, whilst staying within the given budget. These skills are fundamental in the running of a successful kitchen or food business and are best taught by doing, rather than textbook learning. Once the student graduates he/she not only has highly developed culinary skills but also a respect and understanding of the cost of food and how to manage the purchasing.

Students are assessed daily in practical classes and a theory test is written each Friday. Marks are recorded on the Silwood website on a weekly basis, so that students and parents are able to track their progress by typing in their personal code.

Successful studdnts receive a Silwood Cordons Bleus Certificate and a City and Guilds Diploma, students may then go onto the Silwood Diplome Course (year 2) and Grande Diplome Course (year 3), achieving the full Chefs Qualification.

“The proof is in the pudding” – the Silwood course works- see what Silwood graduates achieve: Graduate achievements
To apply email  

Students who complete the full 3 year Silwood Grande Diplome are eligible to apply for entrance into the University of Cape Towns’ postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship (management), offered by the Department of Commerce.  see details

Silwood Patisserie Certificate (part-time)apply

A one year, part-time Silwood Certificate in Patisserie, this qualification includes the City & Guilds Diploma in Patisserie Qualification (code 8065).This very intensive part time course is designed to equip students with the skills needed for a career in a pastry kitchen, as well as a comprehensive understanding of food purchasing, costing and storage.

The course is designed to suit working people, who do not have the time to study full time.
Classes will be held every Thursday from 7h30/8h00-17h30 during the school’s calendar year.

The curriculum will include the following:

  • Practical Baking, including all methods of cake making, biscuits and pastries
  • Bread making and yeast products
  • The world of Desserts from classic French to modern
  • Confectionery, Chocolate and Sweet making
  • Sugar Craft Skills / icing
  • Baking Theory
  • Food Purchasing and Costing
  • Hygiene and Safety
  • Kitchen maintenance and design

The daily program includes 5-7 hours practical work where students will be assessed in baking, bread making, desserts, pastry, confectionery and sugar craft. The students will learn the skills of purchasing, costing and food storage by hands on application.

Each week the student will be required to write a theory test covering the prior week’s work. Two sets of examinations take place- June and November, including the City & Guilds Diploma in Patisserie.

On successful completion of the course, students will attain the coveted Silwood Patisserie Certificate as well as the City & Guilds Diploma in Patisserie Qualification (code 8065).

In order to graduate students must complete all practical classes, as well as pass the Silwood and City & Guilds examination.
To apply please email 

Diploma Course

Year 2 of the full Silwood 3 yr Qualification, students receive a Silwood Cordons Bleus Diplome at the end of this year.
This is a practical year in which students consolidate the skills acquired in the Silwood certificate course through practical industry experience.

The student works in only the top establishemtns, each student experiences a restaurant kitchen,  hotel kitchen, a catering operation, guest house and one other food industry operation, ie: a bakery, development kitchen etc.

The student spends an 8-9 week period in each type of establishment. This allows the student to experience all the different kitchen types and then make an educated decisions as to what type of kitchen their individual skills are best suited. Students also attend lectures at school every Monday.

To be awarded a Silwood Diploma, students must pass:

  • An external practical exam set by an independent professional from the industry and marked by a panel of SA Chefs Association accredited judges. Students will not be certified if they are not found competent by these industry professionals.
  • The Silwood Restaurant project.
  • The Cape Wine Academy International wine course.
  • The sugar craft practical exam.
  • The product development course
  • The compilation of a recipe book in accordance with selected specifications.
  • The five practical industry blocks.
    To apply students must first complete the Silwood Certificate course email 

Grande Diplome

The final year of the full Silwood Grande Diplome Chefs Qualification.  
After completing the diploma course, students will have a realistic understanding of the type of kitchen to which they are best suited.

For their Grande Diplome they must work for 12 months in a Silwood approved culinary establishment. The aim of which is to hone the individual skills they will need to flourish in their chosen field and complete a one year apprenticeship under the auspices of the school. Students only work in the top establishments such as The Test Kitchen, La Colombe, Chefs Warehouse, The Greenhouse at The Cellars.

Successful completion of a practical and a written examination and the completion of a thesis determine success in achieving the coveted Silwood Grande Diplome.
To apply students must first complete the Silwood Certificate and Diploma Course. Email 

Silwood Grande Diplome graduates are eligible to apply for entrance into the University of Cape Towns’ postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship (management), offered by the Department of Commerce.