Chef Franco takes culinary in his stride

Chef Franco takes culinary in his stride 

A success story like no other.

Doctors told him that he would not be able to walk for two years, but he refused to accept not being in the kitchen.

With determination and hard work, Chef Franco Buys is now a Junior Sous Chef at the prestigious Four Seasons in Johannesburg.

Having lost the use of his legs whilst working in Qatar, the talented chef knew that it would not hold him back from living his dream in the culinary industry.

Having studied at our Capsicum Sunninghill campus from 2013 – 2014, the talented chef definitely did not have an easy road to success.

We sat down with him and asked him a few questions on his journey.

How has your culinary journey been thus far? Please tell us a little about it.

Well I have a 5-minute story, a 1-hour story and a sit down, cancel your next appointment because you will not be going anywhere for hours story… In short, my journey thus far has had more action than the Rocky Franchise. More drama than all the soapies combined. More fun than an all-expenses paid vacation… ask me face 2 face an ill tell you all about it. (That's exactly what we did!)

What credentials did you earn through your culinary studies?

 Diploma in Food Preparation.

What was your journey through Capsicum Culinary Studio like?

The place you choose to study at, is a stepping stone to your future. I walked into Capsicum with 1 goal. work hard, work hard, work hard. Get an epic placement.  I made a lot of friends that are still a big part of my life today. An that is the most awesome part about the career I've chosen. You never know who you are going to meet and no 2 days are ever the same.

What did you like best about the education experience?

 My lecturers and how each one had their own approach to imparting knowledge through their experiences.

What did you like least?

 That I had to leave & go work full time.

How did Capsicum ready you for industry?

Capsicum showed me exactly what to expect in the real big world & prepared me for it.

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?

Chef Mark Coombes, one my culinary mentors…. Always as cool as a cucumber, when he talks you listen. He is one of those chefs that most aspire to be like. Always helpful, critical in a way that makes you think about what you're doing in the kitchen.

What is your favourite cuisine?

 That's a horrible question…. Ahhhmmmmmm… the kind you eat. lol

How many different types of cuisine are you capable of producing?

  South African, Japanese, American, French, Egyptian, Greek, and I'll continue to learn more every day.

What do you do to stay current on new trends?

I do what every normal chef does, after a long shift in the kitchen, I go home and sit on YouTube and Instagram following, reading, questioning, soaking up all that awesome knowledge and information in this culinary world. All it takes is one moment, one idea to ignite the fire in your food soul.

Describe two or three of the most interesting industry trends

My favourite and first love in trends will always be ''Farm to Table'' "Head to Tail". Because that's how I was raised, spending ever summer vacation on my grandparents' farm learning where my food came from, how to harvest it, how to sustain it. That is the where the love for food was grown from.

My second is sustainability, how can we expect to show the world how amazing food in all forms is, if we can't sustain it. We want future generations to enjoy what we have, to do that we must keep it sustainable.

What would be your advice to students who are currently studying towards becoming a Chef?

Ask questions, it is only through asking questions that you find the answer.

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Find someone to mentor you, (if you can't find one… ask me) and never stop learning… Because this is the toughest, most amazingly, gratifying job on the planet.

Find your passion and don't stop until you've won!