The Sweetest Thing

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