The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

NZ School of Food & Wine celebrates 25 years

In 1995, Celia Hay opened the New Zealand School of Food & Wine (NZSFW) above her restaurant in Victoria Street, Christchurch. Twenty-five years later, the NZSFW continues to flourish in Auckland’s Viaduct, with a history that aptly reflects the transformation of New Zealand’s own hospitality, wine and tourism sectors during this time.

With more than 20,000 students through its doors, the NZSFW is a leading New Zealand hospitality educator, offering a range of courses from WSET and Professional wines classes to learning how to shake contemporary cocktails. It’s full-time NZQA-accredited certificates and diplomas in professional cookery, hospitality and tourism management and professional wine knowledge provide graduates with sought-after qualifications.

“My goal, from those very early years, was to develop better courses and qualifications that not only met the changing demands of employers, but would also inspire young people to become more curious about our world,” says Celia Hay. “Sensing and identifying aromas, discovering new ingredients, mastering cookery techniques, learning to taste and savour fine food and unravelling the customer service experience.

“Above all, I wanted to encourage people to keep going and climb the career ladder as baristas, chefs, general managers, sommeliers and also as entrepreneurs, setting up their own businesses. I felt then, as I still do today, that we needed to bring more professionalism to the sector so that people have a better understanding of what and why they were doing these tasks or performing in a certain way.”

This 25th Anniversary year will see the NZSFW deliver a brand new NZQA-accredited micro-credential, the Certificate in New Zealand Wine. This certificate will transform understanding about New Zealand wines and provide a unique opportunity for restaurant, winery cellar door, wine sales and marketing staff, as well as wine lovers, to learn and benefit from an increased knowledge of New Zealand wines.

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine will celebrate its 25th Anniversary over the weekend of 14 and 15 March.