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Newsletter: Sept 2020

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Hello September, and it's been another challenging period, especially for us in Auckland, and hard to know if we were coming or going. I managed to make it south for a few days skiing at Coronet Peak, which was both a welcome respite and a thrill to get back to those magnificent mountains. 

From October 1st - 4th, we will have a W&F Celebration at our premises in the Viaduct. Starting with the Foodography Dinner 2020, a multi-course, dessert tasting menu where you can create a series of fabulous desserts to shape, snap and upload your fun photo. This is our 4th year and in 2019, Carol Hirshfeld filmed the evening so take a look here. If you are looking for some light relief, this dessert dinner could just be the thing to engage and entertain you on Thursday 1st October from 5pm.

On Saturday 3rd October from 3pm, you can join us for a fun Food & Wine Perfect Pairs discovery session. Come along with a few friends. Over a 5-course Tapas menu, enjoy a flight of three unique New Zealand wines with each course and choose the best wine pairing based on your personal experience while learning more about your palate preferences. Celebrate great Kiwi wines with a fusion menu. 

On Sunday 4 October, we welcome Chef Des Harris to our tutor team at NZSFW with a fabulous dinner of Des's cuisine and prepared by our cookery students under his guidance. A unique opportunity to savour New Zealand fare.

Urban Spring Forage with Riki Bennett is back Saturday 10 October from 9- 2pm. This is an opportunity to learn more about the native plants that abound even in our cityscape.

Looking forward, I am excited to let you know that very soon we will be able to offer two new Professional wine knowledge qualifications at Level 5 (18 weeks) and NZ Diploma of Wine Level 6 (36 weeks). These qualification are currently with NZQA for approval and they will include the WSET  Levels 1 - 3 as well as modules on customer service, business administration, cellar door management and wine brand marketing. They will be eligible for student loans and allowances and will replace our previous Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge that we offered from 2004-2019. Watch this space...

With best wishes,


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We are delighted to welcome Chef Des Harris to our team of talented professionals. Des started his career in the kitchen at legendary Wellington restaurant, Logan Brown with Al Brown and Steve Logan.

In 2006, Des moved to Auckland to become executive chef of Clooney, the fine dining restaurant of Tony Stewart and achieved acclaim at the pinnacle of New Zealand cuisine. Des then moved to The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, West Audkland. Des joins us as a culinary tutor to work alongside Chef Finn Gybel.

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Here is Des with our Diploma Level 5 students working on the menu below. 

Flash cured beef carpaccio with lemon thyme, black garlic mayo, pickled shallots, butter croutons

Goats cheese cappelletti with asparagus, Parmigiano & brown butter

Pigeon Bay lamb shoulder, prepared sous vide, with Pumpkin molasses, Medjool dates, black olives, puffed wheat 

Chocolate sabayon tart with white chocolate yoghurt

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Read the full story here.


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Dinner with Chef Des Harris will include a four-course menu which will feature Des's signature dishes and will be paired with wines from the New Zealand Sommelier & Wine Professionals Association partner vineyards - Loveblock, Hancock and Sons, Villa Maria, Pernod Richard & Clos Marguerite.

Citrus cured salmon with salt-baked golden beetroot

House-made bread with brown butter emulsion

Venison tartare, caramelised deer milk labneh & smoked beet oil

Pigeon Bay Lamb shoulder, New seasons asparagus, shiitake mushrooms & kombu butter

Rhubarb & yoghurt meringue bomb with rhubarb sherbet

Sunday, 4 Oct, 7 pm - 10 pm


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New opportunities for careers in wine have recently become available, reflecting global interest and demand for fine wines.

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine is the only WSET® authorised provider in New Zealand offering an 18 week classroom-based teaching programme. 

This intensive programme offers hospitality professionals or wine enthusiasts both an NZQA Accredited Level 6 Qualification alongside the internationally recognised WSET qualifications. By completing this programme, students will gain a thorough understanding of principle wines and spirits of the world and key factors influencing style, quality and value.

Available: March 2021

This programme is currently with NZQA for final approval. NZSFW expects approval to be completed in 2020, in time for the 2021 academic year. 

Learn More


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Foodography merges food, photography and art And you can have a go using your phone. Time to explore your creative sweet-tooth with a menu.

Thursday, 1 Oct from 5 pm - 8 pm

NZ $160 for two people


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Our Urban Forage (Mahinga Kai) with Riki Bennett starts with a guided walk to identify a range of edible plants, leaves and berries.

Back at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, Riki will explain and share in more details in an interactive presentation on local edible plants and trees, along with Māori food gathering traditions and culture.

The presentation is followed by a delicious gourmet luncheon featuring traditional ingredients with a contemporary focus.

Saturday, 10 Oct from 9 am - 2 pm

$95 per person 


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Perfect Pairs - Test your skills to find the best wine match for a selection of five fusion inspired dishes.

Over a 5-course Tapas menu, enjoy a flight of three unique New Zealand wines with each course and choose the best wine pairing based on your personal experience while learning more about your palate preferences. Celebrate great Kiwi wines with a fusion menu. 

Saturday, 3 Oct from 3 pm - 4:30 pm
$85 per person


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Our Moroccan inspired luncheon was an event curated by the Level 5 Management students featuring a 4-course menu prepared by the Level 4 Advanced chefs.


To start: Harira soup with parsley flat bread, followed by Chicken & Chilli Kofta with Hummus & dukkah, Lamb tagine with cous cous and to finish classic Baklava with dates, apricots and walnuts and rosewater yoghurt.

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Read the full story here.



So here we are again, cooking from home, as we swing back to lessons learned from Lockdown 1. Fortunately, we have dusted off the classic recipes taught during Lockdown in March and April and are now teaching and tempting our new batch of Foundation students with online classes to watch and then prepare in the comfort of their home.

Take a look at these great examples of Choux Pastry transformed into Profiteroles with creme Chantilly and eclairs with pastry cream and rich chocolate ganache.

Read the full story and the recipe here.



Learn the foundation cookery skills to begin your culinary career and give you confidence in a professional kitchen. Follow this course with the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery, Advanced.

We provide an education drawing on the French culinary tradition. This provides the foundation for many other cuisines.

Programme Schedule - 
Certificate in Cookery, Foundation - 06 Oct - 12 Feb 2021 | 18 weeks
Certificate in Cookery, Advanced - 06 Oct - 25 June 2021 | 36 weeks

4 days per week
6 hours per day



Our recent online Certificate in New Zealand micro-credential included people from around the country over four evening sessions. In our last session, we had participants join us from Blenheim, Mount Maunganui, Hastings, Wellington and Auckland.

13, 20, 27 Oct & 3 Nov from 6 pm - 9pm
17, 19, 24, 26 Nov from 5pm - 8pm

Click here for more information. 



WSET Level 2 in Spirits - In this course, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the most important spirit and liqueur categories, how they are produced and how they can be used as beverages and transformed as cocktails.
27, 28, 29, 30 Oct from 9 am - 2.30 pm
10, 12, 17, 19 Nov from 5 pm - 9 pm

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines Learn the language of wine, and become comfortable with aromas, flavours, structural characteristics and more! 
25 Nov, 2, 9 Dec from 6 pm - 9 pm

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines - You will learn about the major wine growing regions from around the world, understand their grape varieties and styles of wine as well as interpret their labels. 
17, 18 & 24, 25 Oct from 9 am - 3.30 pm

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines - The class-room based course over 4 weekends ensures you develop a detailed understanding of the principal wines regions of the world.
Starts 31 Oct from 9 am - 3.30 pm


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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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