About South African Chefs Association (SACA)
The South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) is a non-profit industry organisation that has been representing chefs, cooks and caterers at all levels for over 40 years.
Its core purpose is to set and maintain the highest level of culinary excellence, food standards and professionalism throughout South Africa. We accomplish these goals through the transfer of skills and the upliftment of individuals, our members... 'The South African Chef’.
One of our many objectives is to have a significant impact on the careers of the chefs with whom we share the knowledge that our members have acquired through international food promotions, competitions, workshops, educational conferences and various other learning experiences.
SACA has in excess of 6,000 members, include catering and hotel company directors, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, culinary educators, apprentices and trainees and can be found in every type of catering activity.
The governing body of SACA is a board of directors - leaders in the world of food and hospitality, who are elected to serve the interests of the Association in a voluntary capacity. Each region has its own decentralised organisation structure.
The current patrons of SACA are Tsogo Sun, Tiger Brands, Fedics, McCain, Lucky Star, Unilever Food Solutions, Nestle Professional, Excella, Mac Brothers and Gearhouse.
Our educational wing falls under the Centre for Culinary Excellence, with a reference library and computer centre as well as a state-of-the-art Skills Kitchen and Culinary Theatre. The practical arm, the Tsogo Sun Centre for Culinary Excellence, was created in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and built with sponsorship from companies in the hospitality industry.
This is where we fulfill our mandate of training, offering subsidised, basic skills courses to members of the hospitality industry, be they formal or informal.
Culinary Team South Africa has represented our country in the Culinary Olympics since 1980 and received official team status from the Bureau of Heraldry in 2008, becoming South Africa’s official representative in the culinary world. The Team is run on sponsorship and they meet regularly to practice both the Cold Table and Hot Kitchen, as these are the two sections of the Olympics.
What we do:
SACA plays an integral role in the training and continuous improvement of standards in the hospitality industry. With the predicted growth in tourism, this role is becoming more and more important and through the SACA Seal of Approval, recognised standards for the industry are being set. Product development is also an important service which SACA provides to the industry.
The Association assists in identifying and defining the training needs of industry. SACA also holds regular seminars and workshops, both nationally and regionally, in the constant drive to improve knowledge and standards. Competitions are held every year at events within the South African borders, to identify the new and rising culinary stars. Participation in international events and food promotions ensures the continuous development of young, aspiring chefs and raises the profile of South Africa’s diverse cuisine in countries across the globe.
The Association produces a bi-monthly magazine, Chef!, and takes part in a host of trade and consumer shows, including Hostex, Rand Show, National Tourism Careers Expo, demonstrating chefs’ expertise and skill. We host a range of Food and Wine Evenings with top South African chefs and host our own conference, aimed at chefs: Infochef.
We are also involved in a range of culinary competitions, including Unilever Chef of the Year, Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year, Lucky Star Innovations, Huletts Sweet Young Chef competition and many more.
Our South African National Culinary Team, is selected by SA Chefs every four years, culminating in our participation in the IKA Culinary Olympics. Through a process of skills transference and training, the best of the chefs on the squad are selected to represent South Africa in the Culinary Olympics. Team South Africa has been structured in such a way that it will provide for the development and training of young chefs by more experienced chefs who have previously served on the National Team, with the emphasis being on a mentorship programme for the next generation of chefs.
On an international level, the Association has always actively participated in the activities of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and in 1996 was unanimously voted to hold the offices of president, vice president and secretary general from 1996 to 2000. Not only was this a great honour but also a strong vote of confidence in the ability of the South African Chefs Association by the more than 60 member countries of WACS, which represents over 1,5 million chefs from over 80 countries around the world.
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