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Our Level 5 Diploma Chefs Cookery Journey

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Celia Hay, Chef Finn with the inaugural Diploma of Cookery students

After 36 weeks of cooking, research, planning and practice the final practical assessment was to cook three dishes for two guests, seated in our dining room. The students designed, costed, planned and presented the menu. The goal was to test the student's ability to cook and prepare a short-order menu with time pressure. Exciting and challenging! Earlier in the programme, the students had researched a cuisine of their choice, given a presentation to the class and then prepared two dishes for our group. Christine chose Japan and her dishes are as below.

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Christine Lemalu plates up her duck dish, in the final à la carte bistro practical assessment. Two guests are waiting in our dining room. 

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Christine's Japanese dish of Seafood Okonomiyaki with cabbage, pink ginger and bonito flakes. On the right is the Kingfish Crudo with croutons, fennel, lemon mayo, capers, orange, coriander and radish

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Spring Lamb Rack, smashed peas, mint butter, glazed carrots and parsnips, sticky red wine jus. On the backplate is Crispy duck with tangelo and five-spice glaze on Moroccan couscous topped with toasted almonds.

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Bernadette Bautista prepared her Philippine regional dishes and her Bistro Menu. 

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The Filipino classic dish: Chicken Adobo. Main of Sirloin steak with capsicum, salad

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Filipino Aubergine. Salmon with a mushroom crust.

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Marlene Roache preparing her Samoan inspired menu followed by a contemporary bistro menu. Crispy Duck Breast with juniper, orange and thyme glaze with celeriac and cauliflower cream.

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Tuna marinated in coconut cream. Marlene's Tuna Tartare in a white cloud layered on sour cream, spicy cilantro sauce with savoury taro sticks.


Marlene's Eye Fillet served with coconut taro gratin, butternut squash, curly kale and star anise jus. 

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Meng is from Cambodia and studying with us as an international student since 2018. Meng researched and prepared a Cambodian inspired menu as well as demonstrating that he can cook Bistro fare as well. 

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Meng's Bistro menu of Pan-Seared Lamb Loin, Sauce Bordelaise, Spinach Puree, Garlic Potato and Oyster Mushrooms.

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Tumeric Roasted Chicken Breast with roasted Brussel sprouts, sweet potato puree and chive veloute sauce

Level 5 Diploma cooks in the kitchen   


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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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