A world of opportunity awaits at Singita’s Rwandan culinary school

A world of opportunity awaits at Singita’s Rwandan culinary school

The excitement is palpable among the 10 students of the inaugural class of the newly opened Singita Community Culinary School in Rwanda, and there’s no shortage of passion as they set to work acquiring the sought-after skills and industry-revered know-how that will see them soar in this exciting and competitive arena.

Diligent, dedicated and inspired, these students were handpicked for their talent and wholehearted enthusiasm, and a mindset that aligns with the overarching vision of the school. Filled with big and bold dreams, their feet are firmly planted on the ground; and while their studies support aspirations for great personal success, they’re committed to transforming their own achievements into tangible opportunities for members of their communities – and to help provide other Rwandans with gainful employment and ultimately, economic freedom too.

Technical skills, personal touch

As well as retaining firm roots within their communities, the students bring a wealth of local inspiration and knowledge into their studies and the fresh and seasonal flavours of Rwanda’s local abundance feature strongly throughout.

It’s the perfect fit, as sustainability forms a key focus in all of Singita’s operations, and it’s the backbone of its food journey as well as every part of its operations. Just like the ever-changing menus at all of our lodges and camps, the course embraces not only the bounty that each season brings, but also the recipes that have been passed down through generations. The result is an exciting contemporary expression of age-old traditional cooking, as students learn how to merge classic cooking skills with their own personal flair. 

According to Claudine Tuyishime, Conservation & Community Officer at Singita Volcanoes National Park, the school is not only a dream come true for the students, but also the culmination of high hopes of teams on the ground. “It came at the right time to fill a skills gap, and it’s a wonderful employment opportunity for 10 young students – every year. Having this opportunity so close to Singita’s lodges in Rwanda also means a lot to the local community, and contributes to Singita’s long-term purpose to ensure the upliftment and empowerment of local communities.”

Empowerment across the continent

The first Singita Community Culinary School opened its doors in Singita Kruger National Park in 2007, and following in its immense success – particularly in making a significant difference to the once-bleak prospects of talented individuals from local communities – this flagship initiative was taken to Singita Grumeti, when the second school was opened in Tanzania in 2015.

Run in partnership with Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College (MIPC), the Rwanda SCCS is located at the MIPC campus in Musanze, close to Singita Volcanoes National Park (SVNP), and its first intake will graduate in June 2022. It offers the same internationally recognised Worldchefs certificate as the other two schools, and equips students with the grounding of sound theory and intensive practical training – ensuring that they emerge with the expertise to step into highly sought-after jobs all over the globe.

In Rwanda, each student works under the tutelage of a highly skilled Rwandan Chef Skills Developer, while Singita’s Senior Chef Skills Developer – Thys Taljaard, Group Executive Chef – Andrew Nicholson, and the award-winning restaurateur Liam Tomlin provide strategic mentorship. Graduates proceed to an internship programme and receive job placement support, while exchanges with local and international kitchens are also available to the most promising students.

Help turn dreams into life-changing reality

Singita couldn’t have the far-reaching impact in its communities without the continuous and crucial support of our guests – whose presence, as well as their generous donations – go towards sponsoring students (covering tuition, uniforms, equipment, ingredients, transport and a monthly stipend) or contributing to the SCCS Expansion Fund, which will make this life-changing opportunity available to more young people. Even the simple gesture of purchasing the beautiful and inspiring Singita Cookbook goes towards this programme. To donate to our goal of changing lives through the culinary arts, click here >