By: Mpho Shelile
Kitchen Chemistry School of Chefs (KCSC) held its 5th graduation ceremony at J&E Cyaara Guest house this previous Saturday, where one of the highlights of the graduation was when Chef Maitu addressed and congratulated those graduating.
Kitchen Chemistry was established in 2020 by Libuseng Tsoho (Chef Maitu) and is located at Ha Abia, chef Maitu in her speech stated that the reason for her building the institute was because she saw the need for many people being drawn to the culinary field because of its artistic side. Adding that people enjoy working with their hands creating flavorful foods and exciting presentations that provide instant gratification to their guests.
Chef Maitu said that Culinary Arts is a field that has gained significant popularity in recent years. With the rise of food culture and the increasing number of food establishments, culinary education has become more accessible than ever. Among the institutions that offer culinary education in the country, what makes KCSC different from others is that to her, food is science that is why her institute is called chemistry.
“We had 26 graduates this year, 2 males and 24 females.” said chef Maitu, adding that one of the biggest benefits of graduating from KCSC is the comprehensive culinary education it provides. The institute offers Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Barista Education that caters to different levels of expertise, from beginner to advanced levels.
She emphasized that regardless of level, one needs to decide which way to go from here. Whether that’s owning a catering company, working as a private chef, or owning a restaurant, one has to take the first initial step, because they have a good educational foundation from KCSC. And step into the best industry in the world.
She further stated that the culinary techniques they have learnt at Kitchen Chemistry of Chefs will stay with them for the rest of their lives and will be the foundation of any future developments they make, whether one decide to become a food writer, chef or TV personality.
She congratulated them for having completed their class and graduating from both the culinary program and school as well.” When you walked into this classroom, most of you did not have a clue about the difference between braising and béarnaise, sautéing and soup, poaching and pears. And, making a cookie would have been tricky for some of you however today you can make those with your eyes closed.” she said
Chef Maitu said that her students have shown excellent kitchen competencies, which they have learned; from correctly washing their hands to properly cleaning the kitchen. And of course they have learned all the culinary skills that come in between. “In this class, you baked cookies, made salads and dressings, and learned how to season and taste. Perhaps what is more important is you mastered how to work in a kitchen. You learned safety and sanitation skills like those used in commercial kitchens around the world. You learned how to clean as you go. You now know how to handle mistakes by admitting it, not blaming others, and doing it again.” She said as she remembered their time in the kitchen.
Adding that most importantly, they have learned and practiced over and over how to work with people. And have discovered the importance of working as a team, preparing the food correctly and on time. Emphasizing that it was the most pivotal lesson they have learned.
“Now that you are graduating, you will have an opportunity to get a job in a commercial kitchen. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I am more than happy to help, now or in the future.” She stating that this year she had students from all over the country, even one from South Africa. My dream is to see kitchen chemistry school of chefs among the top notch institutes in the country and worldwide.
A newly graduated chef Paramente Manko detailed that their journey was not a walk in the park, there were challenges, triumphs however, they have grown and gained a lot of experience along the way. Adding that there are valuable lessons such as culinary skills, teamwork, perseverance, and adaptability.
“I want to acknowledge the instructors and mentors who have guided us through our culinary education. My parents for being with me and supporting me emotionally and financially, And to my fellow graduates I’d like to encourage you to pursue your dreams passionately, to embrace challenges as opportunities, and to never stop honing your craft. Convey what chef Maitu has taught us wherever we go,” he said.