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After a Winter | November Newsletter

After a Winter... 

After a winter of being hunched over my laptop early each morning, I have finished the third edition of my book, How to Grow Your Hospitality Business, A guide for owners and managers. It is so exciting to look back and reflect on our progress developing a strong community of innovative restaurants, cafés and our food and wine offering. New Zealand’s hospitality world has been transformed. And these businesses are so important to New Zealand’s tourism; we are part of the experience that makes New Zealand a special destination.

When I first wrote this book in 2000, hospitality businesses were not taken seriously. They were for people who had been made redundant during the long period of economic restructuring of the 1990s, or at least those trying to buy themselves a job. Friends and business associates would joke with me about the high failure rates in the hospitality sector as I worked long and hard to grow my own businesses. Deep down I felt profoundly secure that a good takeaway, café or restaurant could succeed as long as the basics were adhered to. 


At Xiamen University.


Twin City Commemoration.

Today the extent of investment in hospitality is impressive - to service our own communities and to reflect the attraction of New Zealand as an international tourist destination. Restaurants, bars, hotels, motels and lodges require significant capital to establish, and with this surge of activity so too has opened up opportunities to establish numerous support businesses beyond those growing local produce. There are linen-hire companies, rubbish collection services, entrepreneurs who have developed software systems to manage the point of sale and back office functions, integrated food suppliers who can cater and deliver fresh vegetables, meat, fish, along with catering equipment and cleaning products directly to your door. Our own coffee revolution has lead to an explosion of specialty roasters and more recently craft beers and bespoke spirits have offered new opportunities to excite the palates of consumers. All these components form an important part of a dynamic hospitality and tourism sector and are helping to create an identifiable local New Zealand cuisine. Let's not forget the significant role played by the fantastic array of New Zealand wines that add even more to this picture. 

In How to Grow I have continued to explore our evolving culinary traditionsas I feel it is important to acknowledge this history and development. This section looks back to the establishment of European settlement in New Zealand along with the role of French Cuisine in professional cookery and the more recent influence of concepts such as the avant-garde molecular gastronomy, foraging and the locavore. The chapter, So You Want To Be a Host, considers the attributes and skills required to get going. The chapter on Setting Up with a detailed appendix of costs of equipment is a useful guideline to give would-be entrepreneurs a better understanding of the start-up process. The Menu as a Management Tool includes the backend of menu planning as well as how to understand the margins required for success. I have included a short costing exercise for you to do. There is a chapter on the challenges of building an effective team and tips on how to lead that team. I have had fun reviewing the Hospitality Marketing chapter and working through the significant change wrought by social media and the transfer of power from the food critic to the consumer just by a click on your phone to rate the business. There is lots of useful information here, even for the seasoned restaurateur.

I hope this book is of interest not only to the students of hospitality or those just starting out, but to foodies who want to understand more about the mystery of hospitality and its essential part to our way of life.


Craggy Range.


Tutor Stefan and his wide Nadine at Oak Estate.


The How to Grow book launch is Monday 27 November at 6pm. Please email me if you would like to join me for this special night. Click here to read more about the book and to order a copy

10,000 jobs in Hospitality and Tourism 

The next question has to be, where are the staff going to come from to enable these businesses to succeed and flourish? Various estimates have been floated and there is a general consensus that a further 10,000 staff will be needed to meet the demands of the growing hospitality and tourism sector. With immigration being a hot topic in 2017 and international students copping some of this flack, we have to acknowledge the important role they are playing in helping employers fill jobs and the chronic skill shortages in hospitality.

Lucie Krestanova joined us earlier in the year to study the Certificate in Food and Beverage Level 4. Lucie came to New Zealand on a working holiday visa from the Czech Republic. After her time working in New Zealand Lucie transferred to a Student Visa to enable her to study with us for 16 weeks. As part of this programme, our students complete a two week work placement at a leading Auckland restaurant or café. Lucie was placed at Ortolana, the smart restaurant owned by the Hip Group in the central Britomart area. Her managers were so impressed that they offered to sponsor Lucie for a one year work visa to work within the group. Lucie has now transferred to The Store where she is currently working Front of House and as a barista. Lucie has been able to slot into one of those 10,000 jobs!



Book Launch Presentation.


Cookery students preparing Canapes.


Chocolate Essentials

We are excited to welcome a new guest tutor, Claire Guenegan to share her specialist chocolate skills in a one-day class on Saturday 4 November.

Trained as a pastry chef in France, Claire has worked as a pastry chef in New York, Sydney and in a number of head pastry chef roles in Auckland. She's passionate about showing people how they can express their creativity through chocolate. This could provide great inspiration for edible Christmas gifts! This one day class in our professional kitchen will include tempering, ganache, and chocolate decoration, making cupcakes, friandes and chocolate tarts. Click here to read more and register online

Artisan Bread

Making your own bread from scratch brings a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Our most popular one-day class covers all the key stages involved in the bread making process and a variety of recipes and techniques. You will learn to make ciabatta, classic breads and how to plait loaves and to work with sourdough. And, you will have an impressive batch of breads to take home with you along with the recipes.  Click here for more information

Wine & WSET Courses



With the New Zealand Ambassador


Xia and Roger



Wellington Region wines presented at Xiamen tasting


Salmon at Craggy Range



Stefan outstanding in his field


Cookery students preparing canapes



Dana, Catherine Bell and hospitality management student Canada


Hay Family

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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