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What People Say

Testimonials from Parents and Students


Melissa Chrystal – 2015, Chrystal’s Mobi Gourmet (est 2016)

Dear Chef Dixi Just a short note to tell you that Melissa and her food truck catered a function at South African Country Districts Hockey Tournament. This was a week-long function and she had 3 official dinners on the Saturday, Wednesday and Friday. On these days she catered for 250, 230 and 250 people respectively. The other days she catered for roughly 50 people for lunch and 50 for dinner. She also ran her take away doing Prego rolls and added bacon rolls and wors rolls for a change for the teams. She worked with 5 school children from Boksburg High school and 2 temp staff members that used to work in a restaurant. Melissa had a field kitchen with 2 newly acquired stoves, one full gas and one gas/electric. Melissa has found her comfort zone in her Food truck, she comes out her shell talking to customers and getting on with her business. Everyone was happy with her meals and we have to thank you for the training she received at 1000 Hills International Chef School. Melissa prepared 1244 meals for players, and did over 600 take aways during the week. She was an absolute star and we are very proud of what she achieved and you should be too as a former student of yours. For a little business that started this year, she is achieving great things. Thanks you and your Chefs for all that you taught Melissa over the 2 years she was there. Gillian and Chris Chrystal 12 July 2016

Cherie-Lyn Godsmark – 2005

After much investigation and visits to all the different schools in the Durban area, I decided to further my education at The Chef School. Their professional and individual way of teaching was what made me make the decision, and it has shown with the outstanding results achieved by all the students at the chef school. All the students received distinctions for their certificate exams. We have also been provided with external work opportunities throughout the year, working at large outside functions as well as being chef managers at the Loerie Awards in Margate. The experience that I have gained whilst running the chef school restaurant has been invaluable and this I will take with me when I enter the job market. The small classes allow each student to develop personally and with the hands-on teaching methods, it is hard not to do well. I feel very fortunate to have studied at the chef school and have absolute confidence with regards to my chefing abilities and when entering the industry.

Tim Lee

Hi chef! Just a quick update and big thank you! One of your boys is heading to Melbourne to compete in this year’s chef of the year award! And I'd just like to say thanks for a solid foundation and training! Wish me luck. I'll do my best to bring the trophy home. Here we go, research, planning - execution!

Dustin Hammond – 2015, Executive Chef, Nambiti Hills Lodge

I would like to say thank you to Chef Dixon and John for the two amazing years @1000 Hills Chef School. I cannot wait to come and see you guys again. Dustin Hammond graduated in 2015 and was appointed Executive Chef at Nambiti Hills Lodge in March 2016.

Greg Heysamer – Parent, 2005

As parents one always looks for the best for your children’s education, and after much research we decided that Chef Dixi would provide the hands-on tuition that would best suit our son. The excellent results achieved by the whole class certainly justified our choice and I would like to thank Chef Dixi and congratulate her on the 100% pass rate for the final exams. The experience and network of contacts of Chef Dixi has resulted in our son being placed at one of the top ten restaurants in South Africa, and he is very happy to say the least. I would recommend Chef Dixi’s practical hands-on style of teaching to all aspiring future Chefs.

Paul Collett , Assistant General Manager – The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga

I met Dixie when I joined ML Sultan Technicon Hotel School in 1993. Dixie was responsible for the practical as well as the theory side of cooking. Looking back at the time spent with Dixie at the hotel school she was a very influential figure in plotting my path in the hotel industry. She managed to mirror exactly what goes on in a “real” industry kitchen. Being fresh out of school and arriving at the hotel school, Dixie’s first lecture was on rules to obey in the kitchen from being punctual to switching the gas off when you not using the oven. Those lessons from Dixie I still use to this day. I had enrolled in the management course, so my cooking skills were limited to frying eggs. There were 32 students in my year with less or non-existent cooking skills. Dixie’s patience and love for teaching over the three years moulded the class into management who knew how to be chefs and the understanding behind what needs to be done in the kitchen. Dixie’s methods of teaching were fun and exciting and very hands on so you learnt a lot quicker. During my practical internship, I found myself in the kitchen at The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town under Head Chef Garth Stroebel. With Dixie’s lessons in my head I settled down quickly and understood what was required of me. With the end of an exciting six months and a lot of lessons learnt I was offered re employment when I finished my practical year. My next six months saw me at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga doing my front office training. During this time it was clear for me that my calling was Food and Beverage and I started getting involved in the restaurants and bars as well as doing my shifts at front office. Being back in Durban I was able to keep in touch with Dixie and she was always able to give guidance in any situation. Once my practical year was up I returned to work in Cape Town at The Mount Nelson. My career took off and became The Cape Colony Restaurant Manager I worked at the Nellie for seven years during this time we won numerous prestigious awards, from Tony Jackmans Cape on a Plate award four years running and Conde Nast travel magazines top ten five star hotel restaurants in the world. From that experience I was offered Assistant General Manager back in Durban. I stayed in Durban for two years then the UK called and left for London. Thereafter I managed two very successful restaurants in London for two years. The knowledge gained from working with Dixie made these restaurants flourish. South Africa was calling and I returned to Umhlanga. No one knows where the hotel industry will take you, but the knowledge gained from Dixie saw me in good stead.

Shaun Munro, Executive Chef – Tsogo Sun, Elenageni & Maharani

Between 1991and 1993 I was fortunate to complete my culinary training, of a National Diploma in Hotel Management, at M.L. Sultan Technikon under Sharmaine Dixon, Chef Dixi, as she affectionately became known as. Since then I have had numerous opportunities of working with Chef Dixi again and she has always, as I remembered, conducted herself professionally with a passion of training and caring for her students and fellow chefs unlike I have ever experienced. I believe I am a better chef and person for having been trained by Chef Dixi and I have fond memories of those training years within her kitchen. Sharmaine Dixon is an icon within the Hospitality industry and is thought and spoken of by myself and fellow chefs, whom she has trained, with the very greatest of respect and admiration.