I sat at a table where rich food and wine in abundance were, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. - Henry David Thoreau
After many years of holding various positions in the Hospitality Industry, Ronel decided to pursue her real passion and in 2001 launched Capital Hotel School (CHS) in Pretoria. She visualises to increase the CHS footprint in SA and neighbouring countries in collaboration with likeminded business associates. Ronel chaired the Travel Trade Sports and Social Committee, as well as SKAL International. She is an honorary Bailli of the Pretoria Bailliage of Châine des Rôtisseurs, an international society devoted to choice dining and the camaraderie of the table and was a coach at Lifework Leadership. She serves on the Boards of the Tshwane Tourism Association and SA Culinary and Hospitality Educators Forum.
She believes firmly in the anonymous saying that we are very apt to measure ourselves by our aspiration instead of our performance. But in truth, the conduct of our lives is the only proof of the sincerity of our hearts.
Cupcakes are muffins that believed in miracles – Anonymous
Vincent studied at ICA Chef School in Stellenbosch, where he enrolled for an advanced diploma in professional cheffing and pastry.
After completion of his course, Vincent started working at Terroir restaurant as the front of house manager. That same year Terroir was awarded the much-coveted “Eat Out Restaurant of the Year”, as well as the “Eat Out Service Award of the Year” (Oscars of South Africa’s restaurant industry)
Later Vincent joined Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt as the head product developer. He developed a few ice cream flavours for Woolworths specifically, that can still be found on the shelves today, like the Vanilla Stracciatella, as well as the Mint Stracciatella. Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt was the first ice cream company to commercially produce a Stracciatella ice cream, thanks to Vincent that corresponded with a company in the USA to manufacture a custom-made machine for the application. That year he won two gold medals at the South African Dairy Awards for his Vanilla Stracciatella Ice Cream, as well as his Mint Stracciatella Ice Cream.
Vincent joined the Capital Hotel School team in February 2019, forming part of our Chef’s department. Vincent is a skilled facilitator, with his primary focus being Inservice training for clients at numerous destinations across the country.
Vincent has a big passion for travelling, collecting rare tropical plants, collecting antique furniture and loves all kinds of dogs. Needless to say, eating out and cooking is his biggest passion.
Service should be a feeling we awaken in others and not just an action we take. - Charné McLachlan
Charné completed her Hospitality & Tourism Diploma as well as her City and Guilds Diplomas at Capital Hotel School in 2006.
After her studies, Charné ventured to the United Arab Emirates to further herself and her career.
She worked in Fujairah at a well-known resort and spa and was a part of the start-up team that opened the resort. In Dubai, she worked for an international Events and conferencing agency that hosted exhibitions for 5000 plus delegates. In Abu Dhabi, she worked for an international hotel brand and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre that hosts some of the UAEs largest exhibitions.
Working in the UAE with several religions and nationalities teaches us to be curious, tolerant and learn from those different from us.
After her five years overseas, Charné returned to South Africa to continue her career in the Hospitality industry.
After returning to South Africa, she pressured her passion for training and the hospitality industry and held the position of Campus Manager for a chef school in both Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Then Charné found herself with an opportunity to work for the very same Capital Hotel School that trained her.
Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring. – M.R. Kologie
Raquel Ferreira Jardim Meyer matriculated from Clapham High School in 2007. After completing her schooling, she skilled herself in Photography & Design through the Visual Skills School (VSS). She completed the Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Photography programmes as well as the Design Certificate through VSS.
Raquel was involved in exciting projects during her photography studies. She worked at Prestige Photographic Services, a photographic company specialising in “school photography” for 5 years.
She loves arts & crafts, writing for her blog and taking spontaneous trips as well as socialising with friends and family. Her goal is to inspire just ONE person. She believes that by helping one person make a positive change, to take a chance, or to try something new that she will be the catalyst in improving someone’s mindset for the benefit of their future.
She is a warm-hearted, open-minded, down-to-earth, honest and compassionate woman who strives in helping others to find the little joys within their lives and themselves.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony - Mahatma Gandhi
With over 11 years of experience in professional office Executive Assistant positions, Charmaine is a high-performing, results-driven assistant with extensive experience in event management, executive administrative support and business management. She is known for quickly grasping complex concepts while working in fast-paced environments to seamlessly and effortlessly insert herself into any project to deliver results.
Charmaine’s life goal is to make a measurable difference in the lives of others. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, interior design and international travel.
It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have that makes all the difference. - Zig Ziglar
Hester is a dedicated mother of three children and a proud grandmother of three grandsons. She spent a number of years in Newcastle, Kwazulu-Natal where she was employed in the Administrative Department of a Departmental Pre-Primary School.
The family moved to Pretoria in 1990 where she continued her administrative career for 17 years at Höerskool Garsfontein. During 2008 Hester took care of the office administration for the Human Rights Development Initiative until the end of 2016.
She loves to spend time with her family and her grandchildren and to take long relaxing walks in nature. Hester has a passion for working with students and is a loyal and compassionate member of the CHS team.
If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just. - Anita Roddick
Michelle is a dynamic, patient, and self-motivated individual with an absolute love for what she does. With an incredible service-orientated focus, she is always ready for a new challenge and considers herself an adrenaline junkie by heart.
As a child she was described as a "bundle of energy" or remarked as one who "couldn’t sit still". But it’s her abundant energy that she now channels into her productive avenues.
Michelle completed her Advanced Diploma in Tourism Management studies at Centurion Academy in 2013 and has since then, worked in various sectors of the hospitality industry, taking initiative to learn as much as possible about her profession.
She is driven to get things done, to act, rather than simply talk about it. The first thing people would notice about her is her vitality, how she enjoys the public life and the ease with which she carries herself.
After 9 years in the Hospitality industry, she remains passionate and at her best when she can serve others. She believes in always experiencing something beyond the ordinary.
The noblest act is that of making others happy - P.T. Barnum
Anika Pienaar has always loved the hospitality industry, well before she knew exactly what it entailed. Her grandparents had always nurtured the love of food and people as she grew up. She was taught that hard work and devotion opened doors that one could never imagine possible.
During her High School career at Hoërskool Zwartkops, is where she discovered her true passion for the industry; she was meant to be a Hostess. There was an undeniable joy in making people smile. Hospitality class was an escape from her academics, a place filled with adventure and new experiences.
In 2018, Anika began her journey at Capital Hotel School and it’s where she found her heart. The endless stories told by her gran about hard work, finally paid off. She graduated CHS Cum Laude and got the opportunities to work at leading hospitality organizations before returning to the home that made it all possible.
Anika Pienaar is now employed as a Marketing Assistant at Capital Hotel School and strives to bring light and joy to all those she meets.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius
From a very young age, Lee knew that she will one day be working with people. After completing Grade 12 (with a distinction in Home Economics), she travelled to Dublin and completely fell in love with the Hotel Industry. She decided that if she were to achieve her goals and fulfil her passion for cooking, entertaining and eventually teaching, she needed formal training. On her return to South Africa, she enrolled at Varsity College where she studied Hotel Management.
Her practical training at Willows Country Lodge turned into a full-time position. Starting out as an assistant duty manager, her dedication and passion for the best possible customer service, helped her to climb the ladder of success quickly and it was not long before she was Operational Manager.
Being a hands-on person, she often took charge of every aspect of running the busy establishment and it was not unusual for her to be directly involved in preparing food, doing flower arrangements or baking a special wedding cake! After nine years and many successful functions– from weddings to conferences for demanding groups later, she decided to take on a new challenge and joined CHS.
Lee highly values the support of her family and friends who were instrumental in shaping her positive outlook on life. Lee enjoys spending time in the Kruger Park, where she is actively involved in conservation with the South African National Parks Honorary Rangers Volunteer organisation.
Lee is a highly competent, hardworking, loyal individual which makes her a valuable part of Team CHS.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
Meri is a proud alumni student of Capital Hotel School. After completing her studies in Hospitality Management, she decided to spread her wings abroad where she worked in various Hotels in the UK for two years.
Upon her return to South Africa, she decided to work in Front Office; this suited her perfectly because she has a great passion for interacting with people. She worked at Intercontinental Sandton Tower for two and half years where she was headhunted by The Grace Hotel in Rosebank.
At The Grace Hotel in Rosebank Meri was in the position of Banqueting Coordinator. She then relocated to Polokwane where she worked as Senior Banqueting Coordinator/Manager for three and half years.
Due to her passion for working with people she has taken up a new challenge at CHS. “I would like to be part of a team which helps each individual to be the best they can be in the Hospitality Industry; students that we can be proud of”.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. - Mae West
Samuel completed a Bachelor of Technology in Hospitality Management at the University of Zimbabwe in 2002. Samuel started off in the industry in Housekeeping, before moving on to Front Office management. He has lots of experience in different aspects of the industry, including food and beverage, housekeeping, hotel reception, and hotel and restaurant accounting. He also later completed his Bachelor of Accounting Science with UNISA, in 2016.
Samuel realised his personal desire for making a direct impact on future generations when he joined the education and training sector in 2011. Samuel has worked in different levels of education from high schools, to his current position in skills training.
He is very passionate about training and development of the youth. His goal is to impart relevant skills not only for their own personal growth and development but for community upliftment as well. He is a firm believer in life-long learning and the pursuit of knowledge.
It's okay to get lost every once in a while, sometimes getting lost is how we find ourselves. - Robert Tew
From a very young age, Ilze has been interested in cooking and baking. Cooking with her grandmother in particular always made her feel at home – it was no surprise that she grew up believing that the feeling of “family” is what cooking was all about.
Ilze was born in Parys in the Freestate and raised in Pretoria. She completed her matric at Hoërskool Garsfontein and shortly thereafter began studying a Hospitality and Catering programme at the Pretoria Technical College. She later completed her chef training programme at HTA Culinary School.
She spent an enjoyable and hard-working year aboard the Carnival Sunrise, formerly known as the Carnival Triumph cruise ship. She highly recommends this to anyone keen on an adventure, as it was one of her best learning experiences.
Ilze loves meeting and working with new people but also has a deep love for animals and shares her heart with her two four-legged fur babies.
Don't trade your authenticity for approval. - Suzie Bonaldi
Abigail’s journey for her love of cooking all started when she attended Hospitality class at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark.
Raised in a family filled with an artistic flair for photography; it was no surprise when Abigail began exploring her own creativity in the kitchen. She was inspired by how creating a masterpiece, with the use of different ingredients and techniques could make others so happy.
She followed her passion and completed her Professional Cookery and Culinary Arts Diploma through Capital Hotel School in 2019. She recently joined the CHS team in December 2020, forming part of our Chef’s department.
Abigail enjoys spending time with family, friends and her 4-legged babies. She also enjoys watching movies and has a deep appreciation for music, playing the ukulele and singing.
She believes in being your most authentic self; it’s the authenticity of an individual that makes them beautiful.