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 delivers. 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.

ABOUT THE TEAM - Chef Cheri-Lynn Speelman

Chef Cheri-Lynn Speelman | Senior Facilitator

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!

Chef Jean-Mari Basson | Facilitator 

With 11 years in the hospitality industry, Jean-Mari Basson completed her studies at Warwick’s Chef School in 2011, and started off her career as a commi chef at Fancourt.

She then went on to gain experience in the hospital industry, cooking for people with special diets and needs. From 2013 to 2017, Jean-Mari worked at Akeso, a psychiatric hospital for teens, where she was not just a chef but a mentor too.

She then joined the large catering company, Feedem, as a catering manager, responsible for menus, staff training, daily costing and many more. In January 2020, Jean-Mari was hired as the Kitchen Manager at the Francois Ferreira Academy and she’s been loving it ever since!

Yolande Bruwer | Operations Manager

The reigns were recently taken over by Yolande Bruwer as the Operations Manager of both Francois Ferreira Academy and Apprentice restaurant.After studying and travelling abroad, fate brought Yolande to the hospitality industry – particularly the Lodge industry. She spent twenty valuable years learning all about diverse cultures, standards, training, unique experiences with a fusion of our warm African hospitality! To do so, Yolande travelled all over Africa but more recently settled in the Western Cape.

Yolande has a dream to whisk in new energy into the hospitality industry. She would like to do this by continuously evolving the experience to meet our ever-changing guests’ needs or expectation. Her strive for excellence will exceed your expectations Yolande recognised that a change of scenery (with a good dollop of courage) was required for her new position, it was time to embark on a new adventure. 

Although Yolande may be a novice at cooking, she has valuable accrued ingredients to offer our establishment. Aside from her hospitality experience, Yolande has a passion for making a difference in our beautiful country, combined with feeling strongly about the empowerment and upliftment of people and stern in her belief to take the Academy and Restaurant a place of excellence in every aspect.

Yolande is a great fit for the Academy and Restaurant as likes to shake things up a little, but always provides the necessary support to learners and colleagues alike. She can add creativity to evolve our products and experiences to ensure we constantly keep growing and improving on what we offer. Yolande believes in creating unique experiences for learners, guests, and her colleagues alike! She also believes that the magic truly lies with forming a connection with every person she interacts with – learners, guests, suppliers, and many, more. In the hospitality industry, each person has a role to play, and everyone is equally important. It is vital to understand that becoming a chef is only the first step. Doing it fabulously is what we aim for! 

Her vision is to further integrate the Francois Ferreira Academy with Apprentice restaurant. To share the Academy story with the restaurant, to showcase the learners’ talent and afford anyone the opportunity to join a class! 

In Yolande’s own words: “Here we are going to create memories to treasure forever!”