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25 Years of Food & Wine

The New Zealand School Of Food & Wine celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

Founder Celia Hay has plenty to toast about after more than two decades in educating the next generation of Chefs & Hospitality professionals.

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11 March 2020 - Sarah Downs from Viva writes:

Not even when her business was badly hit by the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 did Celia Hay stop — quite literally — cooking with gas.

Now nine years later and a post-quake relocation to Auckland’s Viaduct, she is about to celebrate 25 years of the New Zealand School of Food & Wine and launch a new qualification. With more than 20,000 students through its doors, the school’s long-running success has given Celia plenty to toast to.

“I feel enormously satisfied to have reached this milestone, and given all the curveballs of business it feels a real achievement,” says Celia.

“Over the years I’ve been able to use my knowledge and experience here and internationally to develop exciting programmes for our students. I see them leave with not only better skills but hopefully equally rich as a person. That transformational part of hospitality education is what still engages me today.”

The new qualification is an NZQA-accredited Certificate in New Zealand Wine, and adds to an extensive range across cookery, hospitality, and wine. The second edition of the New Zealand Wine Guide (Celia’s fifth published book) will launch in April.

“The course will enable people to become much better informed about our wonderful and dynamic wine world,” says Celia. “Every time they sip a glass of wine they will derive more satisfaction and appreciate the story in the glass.”

The school will celebrate more than two decades in business this weekend by inviting past students to join Celia for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, a gala dinner and a Pet Nat Masterclass.

Those attending include Mint Cakery’s Michelle Bevan, and Soul Bar and Bistro chef Spencer Matagi.

Events are open to the public and tickets can be bought online. 

• March 14 - 15. For tickets, visit

Read the full article - Viva:

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Our People

CHEF FINN GYBEL  Originally from Denmark, Finn trained as a chef in leading Danish restaurants before heading to New Zealand with his family two years ago.

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Celia Hay

Celia Hay's fascination of flavoursome food, international cuisines,  fine wine and the art of hospitality led her to establish *Hay's Restaurant* in 1994 and the *New Zealand School of Food and Wine* in 1995 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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