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Han Sen has just completed the Level 5 Cookery Diploma at the NZSFW.

He is now working full time in a café in Newmarket where he is a Chef de Partie, which he is really enjoying.

Early life and background 

Han Sen was born in West Borneo in Indonesia and when he moved to New Zealand, he worked at Euro in Auckland, prior to embarking on the Level 5 Diploma in Cookery at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine.

His parents wanted him to go somewhere to gain more experience in life and education, to develop more skills. Aotearoa sounded like a really beautiful country and that’s why he chose it. "It’s true, as I found out in travelling around to the South Island and a little bit in the north. I have spent nearly two years studying at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine and have learnt a huge amount, initially improving my language skills and now I have grown my knowledge of cooking and hospitality as an industry.” says Han Sen. 

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Hansen with his Classmates. 


His first goal is to finish one year of work and then in the future he might have my own business or work in a better position in New Zealand.

How did your study at NZSFW help you to achieve these goals?

“The cookery school has been really amazing with Celia Hay and the other chefs there, who all taught me to cook well and how to understand management skills. Learning how to manage a kitchen while also understanding cookery has gone a long way towards developing the skills I have now.”

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Han Sen's Mediterranean costed to a budget and then prepared for a friend to savour.  
Pan Seared Fish and Olive Sauce for Entrée, House made Pasta with Red Sauce and Beef Cheek for Main and White Chocolate Mousse for Dessert. 

What are some of your best learning memories of studying at the NZ School of Food and Wine? 

“Learning to get better day by day during my studies. That’s my best memory. I feel very rewarded from the studies because it’s developed my skills to a better level.”

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Han Sen and his classmates at the Cultural cooking day for their last day of Cookery, Level 4 at NZSFW. 

Advice for other students?

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Han Sen's Tart tartin during Lockdown Cooking. 

“If you really love cooking then practice, practice, practice and read more books. Learning at a school with a good chef is the best way because you’re learning something new every single day so, for example, today you’re learning how to make pasta and tomorrow you’re learning how to make bread. There is so much to learn that’s satisfying. And be sure to practice every single day.”

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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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