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The Team

About the Team

We are very proud of our training achievements, as many of our past students have become leaders in the industry themselves, both locally as well as internationally. We credit our success on the individual and personal hands-on training that our team deliver. Our staff have a wealth of experience both professionally as well as academically, which makes for an exceptionally strong team lead by Principal Francois Ferreira assisted by Vice Principal Denise Lindley.

Chef Francois Ferreira

As Principal of the Francois Ferreira Academy, Bailli Délégué, Honoraire of Bailliage National d’ Afrique du Sud, a member of South African Chefs Association, the Academy of Chefs, and the South African Brandy Guild, a published author of award-winning books and well-loved TV and Radio personality. Chef Francois started his hospitality journey in 1979 when he joined the South African Air Force, as a permanent force member. In 1982 he was appointed as Lecturer at the Air Force Cookery School in Valhalla, specialising in cookery, gastronomic history, etiquette and protocol, function planning and more, it is here where he won the "SA Air Force Chef of the Year" for two consecutive years. He started working on an ad hoc basis for the household of the Prime Minister PW Botha in 1983. In 1988 he was transferred to State President's Office and appointed Head of the Household Administrator-General of SWA/Namibia. In 1992 he joined the household of President FW De Klerk firstly as Household Manager and then Comptroller of the Household, a position he held until the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela in 1994. After working as Head Chef at a few restaurants in Pretoria, and being well-known in the hospitality industry, he was a consultant for various restaurants and lodges in Cape Town and Namibia. He then found his passion for teaching and training, and in 2000-2003 he was appointed the Head of Hotel and Restaurant Services, at South Cape College in Oudtshoorn.

Chef Francois decided to start a new adventure and share all his knowledge and wisdom by opening a Culinary Art School in the heart of George in 2004. His experience, knowledge and love of the industry combined with his convivial and extrovert personality, is guaranteed to add incredible value and a first-hand perspective to the François Ferreira Academy.

Denise Lindley

Vice Principal
Elegant, visionary, innovative and creative…these are all attributes that best describe Denise Lindley a British lady with a world of experience, having worked in industrial catering in the UK, Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa.

Denise excelled early on in her career as a trainer and manager, and qualified in the UK in Industrial Catering Management, and subsequently has worked all her life in the catering industry.  Previously, Denise was Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Servco Catering based in Mozambique and was accredited assessor for the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, grading hotels and restaurants. Denise also worked for the Compass Group, the largest catering company in the world, where she latterly was responsible for running the mining division, and all the company business in Botswana.

Prior to joining Compass, Denise worked for Fedics, the first industrial catering company in South Africa, where she cut her teeth going to Mafikeng, to open the fledgling University of Bophuthatswana (UNIBO), and was then transferred to Swaziland for 2 years to be the Catering Consultant at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA).

Chef Elizabeth Theron

Head of Academics
Chef Elizabeth graduated in 2000 after obtaining a Diploma in Food Service Management. She then joined the Work-Away International team, and spent 18 months working between Boca Raton and Marco Island in Florida USA as a Commi Chef. After relocating to the UK Chef Elizabeth worked in the Fine Dining Restaurant of the Royal Over-Seas League in Green Park, Central London, as a Chef for 10 months, after which she became a Duty Manager of the Hotel. In July 2002, she joined the Sales and Banqueting team of Red Eventful Cuisine, and was the Banqueting Co-ordinator until she left the company in December 2005.

Upon her return to South Africa, Chef Elizabeth moved to George, where she started lecturing at a local training provider for 7 1/2 years, where she learnt valuable skills. She then worked for a year at the Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa as Training Officer, until Chef Francois approached her to join the Francois Ferreira Academy. She started with the Academy in September 2014 as Senior Lecturer and  in 2019, was promoted to Academic Manager.

Chef Cheri-Lynn Speelman

Senior Lecturer
In 2014, Chef Cheri-Lynn enrolled on the Cater Care programme at the Francois Ferreira Academy, which was sponsored by the Garden Route District Municipality. She qualified at the top of her class, and was awarded an internship and bursary from the FFA, where she obtained her Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking as well as an Advanced Diploma in Patisserie with distinctions. After qualifying, she was employed as a lecturer at the FFA, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019. A remarkable journey!

Contact Us

Tel: 044 884 0765

Mount View Resort, 1 York Street
George, Western Cape
South Africa

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