The 2019 graduates of Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine have certainly done their principal Jackie Cameron proud, receiving a total of 26 distinctions in total from the class of 15 students. The graduation was a true industry celebration, with Chef Margot Janse present as guest speaker, sharing advice and inspiration as well as insight into her charity Isabelo, which provides a meal to 1 500 children every day.

There were also representatives from the supportive KZN Midlands suppliers that work closely with the school, including Kamberg Esposito Ham, Freshly Pick’d, Blue Orange Farm, Wayfarer Trout, Romesco Olives, Gourmet Greek, Chef Minette Smith representing Sagra Foods and the Chocolate Academy and La Petite France Cheese.

The 3-year course includes 18 months practical training followed by 18 months practical placement, in establishments all around the country. The top achievers from the year were:

Champagne Valley Best Baker

  • Nkululeko Mlotshwa who, after his practical experience, has been offered a position back at the Restaurant at Waterkloof Wine Estate in the Western Cape.

Elba Overall Practical Student Award & Del Trade Top Patisserie Chef Award

  • Sarah Farrington, who has been appointed head chef at Brookdale Health Hydro in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
  • Highly Commended: Courtney Stuart. Inspired by her time at Jason’s Bakery, Courtney will be opening a business venture, called Dough Girl, with her parents, in Durban.

Waterford Wine Award

  • Heather-Lee Holliday who, after her practical experience, has been offered a position back at Fermier Restaurant in Pretoria.
  • Michelle Engelbrecht, who will be opening a business with her parents, in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

Geochem Hygiene and Kitchen Management Award:

  • Zandy Armstrong who, after her practical experience, has been offered a position back at Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria.

Ardmore Table Design Award:

  • Michelle Engelbrecht, who will be opening a business with her parents, in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Highly commended: Anele Tembe and Zandy Armstrong who, after her practical experience, has been offered a position back at Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria.

The Culinary Equipment Company Student of the Year:

  • Sarah Farrington, who has been appointed head chef at Brookdale Health Hydro in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
  • Michelle Engelbrecht, who will be opening a business with her parents, in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Highly commended: Zandy Armstrong who, after her practical experience, has been offered a position back at Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria.
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