Deon Roets, Capsicum Culinary Studio’s academic and quality manager, celebrated a decade at the school this year. Based at the school’s Cape Town campus, Roets has been in the food industry for over 20 years and, although he has had career highs such as working with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro as well as Brian Turner and Eric Lanlard, he considers his time at Capsicum as the pinnacle.
I am proud of being part of a wonderful company where we see the amazing development in students and staff through our teaching and training,” says Roets. “I believe what gives Capsicum an edge over its competitors is our staff’s innovation, participation and involvement, and Capsicum is very proud of its many successful alumni who all graduated from the school with a real passion for the food industry, and a willingness to learn and motivation from lecturers.”
Indeed, some of Capsicum’s alumni are now working in some of the top kitchens locally and internationally and others have gone on to open their own businesses – such as Jandri van Zyl and her Velvet Cake Company .
Also making news is graduate Wandile Mabaso who – post graduation – trained in classical French cuisine in New York and currently specialises in contemporary French haute cuisine at Alain Ducasse’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Meurice, in Paris.
He is also an ambassador of French gastronomy in South Africa. So what advice does Roets have for anyone wanting to make a career in the hospitality industry? “Where possible job shadow, go feel the heat in the kitchen, explore as much as possible, have the right attitude and passion for the industry, prepare yourself for long hours, experiment with food, taste food, explore and expand your senses, read about successful chefs, watch cooking shows on TV and learn and absorb.” he says.
Given Roets’ background in pastry and sugar craft, it’s no wonder that he has a particular interest in Capsicum’s highly regarded pastry and confectionery courses, which include a City & Guilds Level 2 IVQ Diploma in Patisserie as well as specialized offerings in Chocolate Arts and Confectionery and Sugar Craft.
Little surprise then that he counts amongst the chefs he admires the likes of Eddie Spence – “an amazing cake-decorating artist who blows my mind and inspires me” and Alan Dunn and Nicolas Lodge, of whom Roets says: “Just one day with them is probably like being in heaven.”
Other chefs Roets would gladly have around the dinner table include Brian Turner, “because he exudes passion for the industry and gives respect where it is due” and Gordon Ramsey because, “he speaks my language. “
Roets is excited about the local food and hospitality industry and believes it is fast growing and dynamic. He points to the popularity of TV shows like My Kitchen Rules, Proefessioneel and The Great South African Bake Off, along with the growing number of applications to study at Capsicum, as proof.
“Capsicum Culinary Studios has six campuses across South Africa – Cape Town, Rosebank, Boksburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth – making us the largest culinary school in the country and we’re continuing to expand,” he says. “Watch this space…”
Article Source: SA Chefs Magazine