About Us

The Food & Beverage Institute Bloemfontein (FBI), now a national brand, was formed in 2004 / 5 by chefs Kevin Gericke and Lesley Jacobs, both internationally acclaimed in their respective fields.

As an approved City Guilds training and examination centre, (centre number 8423 284) and accredited QCTO skills development provider (SDP1221/18/00315), the FBI has trained many students who have exceled and are now running their own kitchens and food and beverage outlets both nationally and abroad.

Our syllabus is all encompassing of the industry and is testament to the experience and skills of the staff and lecturers.  Students are trained ‘hands-on’ in both practical lecturers and actual real-life functions to prepare them for the amazing international hospitality arena.

The FBI Chef School – Bloemfontein does not only specialize in training internationally qualified chefs, but also cater for the more sophisticated clientele who enjoy cuisine that is tastefully prepared and well presented.


The FBI boasts a lecturing staff with more than 35 years of lecturing experience and 40 years operational experience – testament in the quality of students produced at the FBI.

Lesley Jacobs, founding member, program director and principal, has been in the hospitality industry since 1997, starting at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and has since graced the likes of the Saxon Hotel and Spa and the Michelangelo with stints at the Free State Technicon, South African College of Tourism and the Campus International Hotel School before opening the FBI Chef School in 2005.

Chef Lesley has been active as a board member and director of the South African Chefs Association in the Education Portfolio since 2020 and has strong industry ties within the hospitality sector. As part of the management team of our national culinary team, Lesley has had the opportunity to represent South Africa at the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany and in 2018 at the Villeroy and Boch Culinary World championship, Luxembourg assisting chef Nicolas van der Walt in preparing sugar craft pieces.

Lesley is a culinary arts trainer by nature and a keen academic too, holding an MBA from the University of the Free State amongst his other qualifications.


Jarine Mostert, Operations Director and shareholder, is primarily responsible for management, theory and Patisserie training at the FBI Bloemfontein and has been active in the hospitality industry since 1999. Jarine was part of the opening team at the world-renowned Saxon Hotek and Spa in 2000 and has since been employed in several positions at Sun International, gaining experience throughout various departments including Finance, Operations, Front Office as well as HR. Jarine was also extensively involved in the development and opening phases of Windmill Casino & Entertainment Centre.

Chef Jarine holds many qualifications, the most recent of which includes the QCTO Occupational Certificate: Chef.


Michele Fourie, Operations Chef and shareholder, provides hands-on training to learners on the culinary arts training programs. Chef Michele brings lots of international experience having worked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida as well as several properties in the UK and Asia.

Amongst her many accomplishments, chef Michele counts her most recent qualifications (Diploma in Nutrition – Nutritional Institute and the QCTO Occupational Certificate: Chef) as highlights.




Nicolas D van der Walt, program director – Gauteng, an internationally acclaimed pastry chef, is responsible for training the pastry students and modules at the FBI Chef School – Johannesburg. As a member of the SA junior culinary team, he won an Olympic gold medal, amongst the many other national and international competitions that he has entered since starting out in the hospitality industry in 1995. Chef Nicolas is regarded as one of the pastry leaders of the world and his resume includes hotels such as the Park Hyatt, Savoy in London, the Michelangelo, the Saxon Hotel and Spa and the Castle Kyalami.