About the Food and Beverage institute

FBI Chef School and Patisserie Academy Johannesburg

The FBI Chef School and Patisserie Academy Johannesburg was established in 2007 by Program Directors Nicolas D van der Walt and Lesley Jacobs, specialising in training the next up and coming Chefs. Equipping them not only with outstanding culinary skills and knowledge but also an understanding the real life demands required by Chefs in the Hospitality Industry.
Both directors have gained extensive industry experience after studying at Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein. Their industrial experience was gained at 5 star establishments both in South Africa and overseas. Park Hyatt in Rosebank, Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Saxon Hotel villa and spa, Savoy Hotel Strand in the UK and Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town.

The first branch of the FBI was established in 2006 in Bloemfontein, Free State under the guidance of Chefs Lesley Jacobs and Kevin Gericke.
Nicolas D van der Walt had been headhunted from The Michelangelo and was in his 3rd year of working at the Saxon Hotel Villas and SPA as the Executive Pastry Chef. Living his dream, making former president Nelson Mandela's birthday cakes, creating exceptional pastries, desserts and sweets, sugar, and chocolate showstoppers for world class guests, including Ophra Winfrey and Brad Pitt. He also featured in magazines like Good Taste, Food & Home, Sarie, Rooi Rose, Inflight and Huisgenoot.

Chef Nicolas decided to leave this exceptional career and give young trainee chefs the benefit of all his knowledge and experience, by opening a branch of FBI Chef School in Johannesburg! It was a turning point. The dream became a reality in his garage at home. Sixteen years later and the school is now situated in Northriding Johannesburg with 3 kitchens, a function venue and 17 onsite living-premises.

Our students come from all walks of life, Paris, Mexico, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and from a multitude of diverse backgrounds, even more amazingly, all ages too.

It is here where aspiring Chefs have the opportunity to train in this time-honoured culinary art at an internationally accredited private institution under highly qualified, and exceptionally experienced internationally acclaimed Chefs.

We have a limited intake to guarantee quality training. Both FBI Bloemfontein & Johannesburg have trained around 1600 Chefs in the past 16 years. Both campuses have onsite accommodation and have created a secure, happy, and friendly environment for aspiring Chefs.

Students who have successfully completed our programs have pursued opportunities within the industry at world-renowned kitchens in all corners of the globe! Miami, UK, Dubai, Mauritius, and many have even founded their own restaurants. Several of the graduates today are managing and working as head of their departments.
The FBI not only simulates real-life catering requirements but also provides students the opportunity to work in a real-world environment producing wedding cakes, catering small to medium function, presenting workshops- dealing with the general public and understanding guest requirements. This integrated process allows us to take pride in ourselves, going beyond merely giving students the necessary practical skills, but also the necessary social skills of teamwork, self-discipline, above all a sense of pride in their work enabling them to make a success out of this sought-after career.

Pastry Chef Nicolas D. van der Walt competed in the Junior National Culinary Olympics in 2001, where the team won a gold medal and he was announced as the most promising Chef in the world. This changed his life forever. Then, in 2018 he competed at the World Championships in 2018 in Luxemburg EXPOGAST, winning a silver medal in the Sugar Showpiece Category.

The two directors Chef Nicolas and Chef Lesley including an ex-graduate Chante Rabi competed at the Culinary Olympics IKA, Stuttgart in 2020 and returned home with a bronze medal, additionally Chef Nicolas placed 5th in the world with his individual entry in Sugarcraft.

We are so proud to announce that former students Marian Joppan (from the Johannesburg branch) and Dillen Kruger (from the Bloemfontein branch) are both on the South African National Culinary Squad Junior.


To Produce Leaders in the field of Pastry who have respect for this noble profession and understand the passion and dedication that it takes to truly master the fine art of Patisserie.


Training Chefs of Outstanding Quality
The FBI Chef School and Patisserie Academy trains future Leaders in the field and does not only specialise in sugar and chocolate craft but also teaches full culinary programs resulting in well-balanced all-around chefs.


Constant perfection can only be mastered
And improved upon through dedication and discipline.


Our Venue

Our 50-seater venue caters for teambuilding events, special events, chefs tables, as well as conferencing and baby showers. Fully equipped demonstration, studio kitchen in the venue. Live cooking, painting, or even art demonstrations can be facilitated.

The venue as a stand-alone can also be hired for private events. Enjoy the beautiful garden and relaxing atmosphere by the swimming pool and special attention to detail. Safe parking available for 55 cars

Our Team

our dynamic team