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Our Story

The great story of our culinary journey.

Spectrum started without meaning to!!!

In 2008 I had been home-schooling Shay (he is on the Autism Spectrum), concentrating mainly on teaching hospitality studies and culinary skills.  He then, at the young age of 17, started working in the industry, without having done his official training.  Word got around and I received a phone call from a parent of a son with Cerebral Palsy and was asked if I could teach his son to become self-sufficient in the kitchen.  I had no experience working with special needs youngsters other than my son, was battling with Multiple Sclerosis, and doing catering as a side-line.

Something made me say yes and my absolute dream of a “job” began.

Our story continues…

News spread by word-of-mouth and soon I had a whole spectrum of students to teach how to cook.  I only had one requirement – I did not want to know about my potential student until after I had met them and interacted with them.

During this time Shay was doing his Chef’s course and we were teaching cooking skills at Bergvliet School’s Adult Enrichment Programme in the evenings.  We eventually stopped that in order for me to focus solely on teaching my special needs students.

When Shay returned from overseas in 2017, he joined me in teaching and Spectrum Cooks was born.  During this time a need arose to offer an accredited cooking course and as nothing was available in South Africa at the time, we took on the Asdan UK Foodwise Programme.

The graduates of that course now work for us!

The struggle…

By 2021, after fighting with the Education Department for a recognised culinary curriculum for special needs students, we took the plunge and developed our own curriculum and moved into bigger premises.  Spectrum Chefs Academy was established.

Now, together with our Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) recognised curriculum, along with the Highfield International Programme, we are able to offer students an accreditation and a chance to enter the workplace with pride.

But it did not stop there.

In addition to our accredited courses (Chefs and Cooks), we have our skills development cooking classes, enabling our students to learn a skill, contribute to the household, and gain confidence in themselves.

Come in and cook with us

Cheryl Terblanche
Principal & Founder
M: 082 564 7694

Shay Terblanche
Head Chef & Lecturer
M: 076 723 3550