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Newsletter: Learning in a new year; News from France



While wild rains ravage our country, cooking remains an important reprieve from the weather.

Shortly, our February intakes will start for CookeryHospitality and Professional Wine qualifications. We still have some places available and school leavers are eligible for the Government Free Fees scheme. Click here to see more details about the Fees Free Scheme or reply to this email for more information. 

I have been fortunate to travel to France for the ASI World Best Sommelier Competition and been able to visit Burgundy and Champagne prior to the event.

France's culture is so closely linked to its cuisine and its beverages, and they celebrate this in so many ways. In the medieval town of Beaune, there is a charity foundation that dates from 1443. It was established to provide free hospital care for the poor and still exists today, over 500 years later, as the Hospices de Beaune, with the original hospital now a celebrated museum. 

Donations were allowed as part of the foundation with many people donating parcels of vineyards to the Hospices de Beaune. The first was in 1457 and this practice continues to this day with over 60 hectares now controlled. The wine is then auctioned off in barrels on the 3rd Sunday of November and the proceeds go to fund the hospitals and research arm of the Hospices de Beaune.

The Kitchens and Pharmacy of the Hospices portray a fascinating story about the implements and technology used to support the patients. An order of nuns was established to be the carers, cooks, cleaners and later pharmacists of the hospice. You can read my article here.

For the winelovers amongst you, I have also written stories about visits to Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-George with Andrea Martinisi. Here we tried wines from Premier Cru and Grand Cru sites and even from the 2022 vintage which is still in barrel. Read more here.

Driving around the vineyards in Burgundy, it is fascinating to observe the different vine pruning practices. In a Grand Cru appellation like Clos du Vougeot, where the 82 owner's plots are contiguous and not separated by any fence or wall, you can observe many different techniques from vine practise. Look here to see photos.

There is always so much more to learn about our dynamic world of food and wine.

With best wishes,



Hospitality needs you! Enrolling 13 Feb 2023


Employers are crying out for people to work in cafes, restaurants, hotels and catering businesses.

Our 16 week Hospitality programme focuses on practical skills from customer service to barista, cocktails and bartending along with an introduction to wines, cheeses and food styles.

From school-leavers, it helps build confidence to interact with people in a professional way that is beneficial no matter what future path they pursue.

Starts 13 February 2023
Enrolments closing Friday 10 February.


Something to eat? Celia's trip to France


Fresh ingredients, eagerly bought at markets around France, are transformed at home for family meals and into a suite of classic dishes from Boeuf Bouguinonne to Oeufs Meurette - eggs poached in red wine; to duck liver terrine and Coquille St Jacques - scallops...

See more pictures here


Classic Baking and Patisserie Micro-Credential



The Certificate in Classic Baking & Patisserie (Micro-credential) runs over 20 evenings: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm - 8pm.

This is the perfect course if you love food but are committed to your day-time job.

Certificate in Baking & Patisserie Micro-credential from 26 April 2023.

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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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