Ikusasa Schools of Cooking had a two pronged start, one through the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and the other through the Three Cities Group and its subsidiary company The International Hotel School (IHS).
In 2008 The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Durban Bailli, Sundru Pillay, made a presentation to the International Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Paris suggesting the creation of a social responsibility leg to the Chaîne internationally. Approval was given in 2009 and the ‘Association Caritative de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ (ACCR) was created with Sundru as a Trustee. He formulated a plan to start a cooking training school for the disadvantaged in SA.
Three Cities had a Management Development programme called the ‘Starfish Programme’ and an element of this programme required the participants, in teams, to develop a social responsibility programme. In 2008 one of the teams suggested the establishment of a class room at the St Martin’s Children Home in Durban to teach the children to cook. They were asked by the mentors of the programme, who included Don King, then Managing Director of IHS, to reconsider their proposal and to look for a way of making the proposed project more sustainable.
A series of events brought Sundru and the four participants in the ‘Starfish Programme’ together and the Ikusasa School of Cooking was born based at the St Martin’s Children’s Home with IHS providing academic support. Funding and ongoing management (sustainability) was to be provided by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Foundation Trust which Sundru formed with himself, Don King and an enthusiastic local lawyer Susan Abro as the initial Trustees.
A second school was set up in the Riebeek Valley in 2013. It accommodates 12 students and is based on the premises of the Riebeek Valley Special School in Riebeek West.
The schools are run under the auspices of IHS, a registered Private Higher Education Institution and FET College and the academic staff involved are employed by IHS.
The certification is verified and provided free of charge by City and Guilds of London to successful students thereby providing the students with an internationally recognised culinary qualification.