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Newsletter: Autumn greetings

Autumn greetings

A brief visit to Argentina in April was my first time in South America and the new, direct Air New Zealand flight, taking only 11 hours from Auckland, makes Buenos Aires our new go-to destination. I was very excited to view landfall, leaving the Pacific with views of the Andes, followed by the enormity of Patagonia before landing in BA. Mike Bancks, from Craggy Range and I were in Argentina to attend the Best World Sommelier Competition. Mike was competed for New Zealand at the 4 day event in Mendoza, Argentina's wine capital. Read more...

I also got to learn about Argentina's culinary history and experience a series of amazing barbecue-based banquets at leading wineries in the Mendoza province. One day trip focused on the Uco Valley where grapes are grown at an elevation of between 900 to 1500 metres (3000-5000 feet) above sea level producing high altitude wines from Malbec to Pinot Noir. Read and see my photos on the wine and food of Mendoza...



This winter may be the perfect opportunity to take some time to develop your wine knowledge. We have a number of options including a Wellington based course with Joelle Thomson. Joelle has been part of our wine educator team since 2012 and has recently relocated to Wellington so we are taking advantage of her new location to start offering some Wednesday evening wine classes at Ancestral Restaurant and Bar on Courtney Place. The first Wine and Spirit Trust (WSET) Level 2 in Wines and Spirits starts on Wednesday 29 June from 5.30-9pm. This course will also run in Auckland over two weekends in June and August.


The WSET Level 3 Certificate in Wine is a new, updated programme that launches in July. The Wine and Spirit Trust have completely re-written this course, it now longer includes spirits and has more detailed texts and workbooks to support your study. We are one of the FIRST approved schools in the world to offer the NEW programme. We have been teaching this programme since 2004 and it is so exciting to learn and taste such interesting wines. This is truly travel in a glass!


This full time programme over 12 weeks and gives you the opportunity to gain a series of international qualifications, a comprehensive understanding of the principle wines through practical tastings and discussion. Earn 4 WSET qualifications. Student loans and allowances available. Monday to Friday, 9am - 2:30pm

  • Full time course starts on 5 September - 25 November
  • Summer programme starts on 28 November - 17 February 2017

Cameron Douglas MS is also offering the Court of Master Sommelier certification over Queen's Birthday weekend in Auckland. Register here for the Court of Master Sommeliers


It's time to look again at the career prospect in the diverse world of hospo in New Zealand and overseas. We start with the Barista Intensive, a two week programme where you learn about classic coffee styles. The Licensed Controller Qualification (LCQ) enables you to become a duty manager and the NZSFW Certificate in Wine introduces you to how to taste and recognise the leading international grape varieties. The Wine and Spirit Trust (WSET) Award in Spirits primes the bartending skills and then you learn about guest services for hotel accommodation, Super Yachts and Cruise ships. The 10 day work experience module enables you to gain important practical experience as you work in some of Auckland’s premier restaurants, hotels and bars. It's a great course and employers are waiting… Student loans and allowances available. Monday to Friday, 9am - 2:30pm

  • Starts on Monday 5 September


All food businesses must register their food control plans under the Food Act 2014. This reassures customers that the food you are selling is safe and is also very good for your business’s reputation. Click the link above to find out more.


Just posted is our Mid-Winter Christmas menu for the hands-on Kitchen Confidential event. In this event, a group of up to 30 people get split into 4 groups and each prepares one course of a 4 course menu which you then sit down and enjoy with a selection of delicious wines Kitchen Confidential The Team Cocktails is also a fun way of learning a few tips on how to build better cocktails while socialising with your work colleagues or business clients.


NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professional's Methode Marlborough great NZ sparkling wines


Methode Marlborough line-up of NZ sparkling wines



Canterbury hospo people please join us on Monday 13 June for the launch of the Canterbury Satellite with Stephen Wong MW.


For Year 11-13 students we have courses that run during the school holidays. The Café Attendant is focused on giving practical hospitality service skills to help people find part time work while they are studying. It includes Customer Service Unit standard 28145 (L2 Cr 2). Cooking 101 includes Food Safety Unit standard 20666 (L2 Cr 2) completed while you learn to make muffins, poach eggs and cut vegetables like a professional.The Barista course is designed to give you practical knowledge on how to prepare espresso coffees in a café environment (no unit standards).

Alumni News


Michelle completed the Foundation Level 3 and Certificate in Cookery in 2012 and now you can find her at the Mint Cakery 201b Point Chevalier Road baking up a storm of delicious mini cakes. Congratulations Michelle!


Michelle at Mint Cakery


Delicious mini cakes



‘Who would have thought that as a contestant on MKR My Kitchen Rules 2015 and subsequently the course at NZ School of Food & Wine, would be such a great stepping stone into the chefing world?’

On finishing the Advanced Certificate in Cookery Brooke was fortunate to complete her work experience with chef Shane Yardley from FISH restaurant at the Hilton, Auckland.

‘Shane mentioned that the Hilton in Taupo were recruiting and within days of finishing up my course, I was on my way to Taupo for a trial in the Bistro Lago Kitchen. Thanks to the excellent skills I gained from Chef Stefan, I attained a commis chef position and here I am working hard and learning lots at the Bistro Lago, Hilton Taupo’. Thanks for the update and all the very best.



"For many years I had the dream of opening my own business, a café, as I loved to make desserts for other people. In 2010 the dream started to become a reality, when I had a ‘if I don’t make this dream happen myself, no-one else is going too’ moment! I hunted down the brochure from NZSFW that my Mum had posted to me when I was in London in 1996." 
In May, 2016, Stef opened Red Eight Café in Kaiapoi, North Canterbury. A great achievement and congratulations Stef!


Red Eight 143 Williams Street, Kaiapoi


Red Eight 143 Williams Street, Kaiapoi


Red Eight 143 Williams Street, Kaiapoi


Darren did the Certificate in Cookery, spent lots of time cooking on superyachts and has now popped back up in Christchurch. Great to see him back.

Darren's new pop up is Home at 99-105 Victoria Street, corner of Salisbury and Victoria Street, Christchurch


Darren Fabri


Fish tacos




Rutini Estate, Tupengato, Argentina,


Best World Sommelier competitors 2016 


Bodega Catina Zapata


Best World Sommelier competitors ready for blind tasting


Jöelle Thomson

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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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