The Rosebank campus of Capsicum Culinary Studio and The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management (IIE SH&SM) has a new head in Geneé Griffiths.
Griffiths (55), who lives in Dainfern, Johannesburg, holds three degrees and has more than 15 years’ experience managing private tertiary education institutes across five different brands.
Mother of two children (both of whom are doing their CA articles), she is an avid sports fan, loves watching hockey, cricket, rugby and F1 motorsport, trains five days a week and fits in a game of golf when she can.
We asked her about her new role and her other passion – food of course!
What do you believe gives Capsicum and School of Hospitality an edge over its competitors and why are so many alumni successful?
I think it’s because it is part of a large successful listed group – AdVtech – which ensures compliance and corporate governance. So many of our alumni are successful because they have received the sound training and inspiration that has led them to follow their dreams.
What advice do you give to students?
The more you put into your studies and career the more you will get out. You determine your future!
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to make a career in the hospitality and service industry?
You must be passionate about making people feel cared for and special. Be prepared to work hard and reap the rewards of serving others.
What advice do you have for the restaurant/hospitality industry during this Coronavirus pandemic which has hit the sector hard?
Don’t wait for external factors to change to suit your business, change your business to suit external factors by thinking out the box.
What is your advice for students who are studying or want to study food, hospitality and service?
The industry has not ceased to exist, it’s just changed temporarily, and you have an opportunity to be a part of changing the industry to suit the times.
What food programmes do you watch on television and why?
MasterChef Australia, because it’s exciting, interesting and high quality and Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals, because he is so inspirational and his recipes always work.
Do you have any formal chef training?
No. I am not a chef, but I love to cook because it allows me to be creative and make those whom I love, happy with my food.
What is your food philosophy?
Don’t be scared to try something different.
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
A very sharp knife
What are your three favourite ingredients?
Chili, ginger and limes
What advice would you give to a young, ambitious chef who is just starting out in the industry?
Don’t expect to call the shots! Surround yourself with people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than you and learn from them.