create international chefs

My name is Ralph Gottschalk. I am the chef, owner and principal of SAACA, South African Academy of Culinary Arts, here in the beautiful and friendly city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

You have landed here on our new homepage because you are interested in studying Culinary and/or Pastry Arts here with us or you may even have already applied for next year’s intake. 

Highfield Certificate in Food Production and Cooking​

The objective of this qualification is to support a role in the workplace. This qualification is suitable for learners employed in hospitality roles wishing to develop their knowledge in food production and cooking.

Highfield Diploma Culinary Arts

The qualification is designed for professionals in the catering industry who want to specialize in culinary arts. It will provide a range of skills for a front-line worker or learner aspiring to specialize in the wide field of the culinary arts within a kitchen environment.

Highfield Diploma Diploma Pastry Arts

The qualification is designed for professionals in the catering industry who want to specialize in patisserie. It will provide a range of skills for a front-line worker or learner aspiring to specialize in pastry, desserts and cakes within a kitchen environment.

Chef Training

Real Chefs start here.

Chefs Trained and Schooled

To be there and to help young aspiring chefs on their way, to train, teach and guide them, to be there for them long after they have left school, I want to be a part of their career, for life if possible. This is very important to me.



The school


Ralph Gottschalk

I still remember like it was yesterday. What, you are going to be a baker, with an apron? You are 2 m tall and you going to do this job, what's wrong with you. Yes, it was not very encouraging to hear this, but I stuck to my guns, thanks god I did. Now, 35 years later I can reflect on a career I am really proud of, and I am not finished yet.

After my apprenticeship as a baker I made also an apprenticeship as a chef, I was told that it will help, either way I decide which way to turn. I worked in the capitol for the German Government cooking for politicians and foreign guest, then I worked for The Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Neuenahr, first as Entremetier then I moved into the Patisserie, the section I was drawn to the most.

After 2 years I moved overseas, to London, being part of the opening team of The Langham on Marble Arch. The flight from Hannover to London was 55 minutes, but it felt for me as I would move to the other side of the globe. From then onwards In think I was also lucky to have met people who guided me into the right directions and that prevented me to make silly mistakes, the simple fact is, in young age one know nothing, and I mean nothing, how this industry works.

One must not forget that in those days it was also different, t be a chef was not a cool job, the was not Food Network, not many real celebrity chefs….so everything was a bit harder to get to and to learn. We still used books, not kindle or Instagram for new ideas and inspirations.

Erika Grebe

As a youngster my father suggested many times that I become a chef one day as I obviously had a passion for food.

Well, I decided that that was exactly what I would not do….. Why would I even consider making my passion my job?!

After school I headed abroad to London to try and find out what I would really like to do. My first position was for a very big and well known catering company, where I started as on of the waiting staff and was soon promoted to supervise these large, international events. I was always drawn to the buzz of the kitchen, watching these experienced chefs create magic and because of this, I would often be called to assist in the kitchen or on the pass.

I had found my love, the adrenaline filled hospitality industry.

a word from past graduates


I never regretted one day when I studied at SAACA. It opened so many doors for me , at the Ritz-carlton hotel, Edition hotel and now I'm on my way to the UK. Big thanks to Chef Ralph Gottschalk!
Junior Chef
It is no exaggeration when I say I owe my culinary success to Chef Ralph and my then lecturer Chef Kevin. The time I spent a SAACA was extremely beneficial and eye opeing. Learning from people who had been exposed to the international food cultures of the world, 5* hotels, Michelin* Restaurants... Gave me an advantage over all my colleagues at the start of my Career. I am now Demi Chef de Partie at Anantara Sir Bani Yas island second in charge of the kitchen and I am loving everyday of it. The classes were well structure and interesting working with a wide variety of ingredients and cooking techniques from classical cookery to morden molecular gastronomy, which gave ma a good base to expand on. Since leaving SAACA I have worked in a few different outlets in the UAE, covering Italian, Indian, Arabic and African cuisines. I currently work in a seafood eafood restaurant and am planning to move further east to master asian cuisines. Food is my passion and SACCA allowed me to pursue it with great confidence and a thirst for knowledge.
Junior Chef

SAACA school happenings

From our blog

Young Chef Olympiad 2020

Incredible India.  Incredible opportunity The 6th international Young Chef Olympiad in India was just that and more,  and I feel extremely privileged to have been able to mentor and assist Egon le Roux in his preparation for the Olympiad. The competition is very much the expected Indian glitz and sparkle with a dazzling opening ceremony…


Join us this coming Saturday at 5 pm here at SAACA. We will explain to you Who we are, how we teach and answer any questions you might have. Please call us on 0762632721 or email us at for details. Enrolling now for a world-class education in Culinary and Pastry Arts, right here in…

Beth – 2018 SAACA

I loved studying at SAACA in 2018. The chefs are very enthusiastic and eager to share their knowledge. The SAACA internship placements sparked our skill sets to the next level. The placements were perfect and the experience invaluable.   I represented the school at the 2019 Young Chef Olympiad in India which was an extraordinary…

Brad Internship

In the month of October, I completed a month long internship at the Shortmarket Club, in Cape Town. This month was very challenging and it made me fulfill tasks I had never done before. The chefs that work above me and with me on my designated sections were great to work with and were good…

Steward Internship

The 12 Apostles was an experience that confirmed that what I have chosen to do for the rest of my life was the right choice. On my first day at the 12A I was welcomed with open arms. Not only did I learn the way a hotel kitchen works. I learnt how important communication is…

Nyokabi Internship

The Shortmarket club, fine dining is in its name. I got to intern there for one month and its was pure bliss. On my first day I walked through the doors not sure if this was the right career for me.  I was assigned to the pastry section for the first two weeks then. I got…