South African culinary school The Hurst Campus has become the first from Africa to receive an international endorsement and gain admission as a member of the renowned French Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance.
It was also granted exclusivity for South Africa as a member of the alliance, the school announced at the beginning of February.
The Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance is made up of 14 partners in 14 countries and aims to encourage cross-cultural educational experiences and promoting the hospitality and culinary arts sector.
It was established in 2004 and provides an annual four-month intensive course for 30 top students from each of the partner institutions to perfect their technical skills.
"Our membership of the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance underscores the fact that our training at The Hurst Campus meets the highest global standards, and our students will take with them a qualification that is recognised worldwide," owner and director Rebecca Hurst said in a statement.
The Hurst Campus started life as The Culinary Academy in 1997, when it only offered a food and wine diploma programme. Hurst completed a diploma at the academy and was offered a partnership following her graduation in 1997; she took over in 2002.
The Culinary Academy was re-branded as The Hurst Campus at the start of 2013 as part of Hurst's "Campus Evolution" plans, which also include the extension of the diploma in hospitality management into a three-year full-time course and the move to a privately owned farm in the Cape winelands.
"It is a great honour to be accepted as a member of this alliance of world-leading training institutions, and I am thrilled that it opens so many network opportunities and exchange programmes for both faculty members and students, to network globally and improve their skills to internationally accepted standards," Hurst said.