Follow your passion for the culinary arts in New Zealand’s natural paradise. Learn to cook in time with the landscape and seasons.

Study cookery at Central and immerse yourself in our ‘paddock to plate’ approach. We focus on using regional produce to build a connection between the source of our food and the dinner table. We access regional ingredients like saffron, olives and clams, as well as wild game such as rabbits and ducks. We source grapes, plants and herbs from our kitchen garden, and even produce our own wine. There is also a wide range of opportunities for foraging in the local area.

But the experience doesn’t end there. The Central Otago region offers a wealth of opportunities in the hospitality sector both during and after your studies.

Learn here, cook here – love it here!

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • One year full-time
  • Level 4
  • Starts February (Dunedin); February and July (Central Otago)
  • Apply by 30 November (for Dunedin - late applications will be accepted based on availability of places); Until start date (for Central Otago)

Begin your journey from cook to chef in this programme available at both our Dunedin and Central Otago campuses. Involving lots of hands-on, practical cooking in our training kitchens, and a work experience opportunity, this qualification will expand the skills you have developed in a Level 3 cookery programme.

New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5) (Cookery)

  • Central Otago
  • One year full-time
  • Level 5
  • Starts February, July and October
  • Apply now

This practical qualification includes lots of hands-on cooking in our training kitchens and a work placement in a local business. You will develop a range of cookery, hospitality management, communication, leadership and critical thinking skills, and benefit from the chance to source your ingredients straight from the campus nursery, modern glasshouses and vineyard. Plus, you can study this programme FOR FREE in Central Otago from July 2020 (you'll just need to cover your student levy and equipment).

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 - LCQ Training Seminar (Central Otago)

  • Central Otago
  • One day (8.30am-5.00pm)
  • Starts Tuesday 3 November
  • Apply ten days before each start date

This course provides comprehensive training for people who are preparing for a Duty Manager position in a licensed premise and intend to apply for their Manager’s Certificate.

Barista skills short course

  • Central Otago
  • Two days, 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 2020 Dates - 26 & 27 November
  • Apply anytime

Want to gain recognition of your barista skills? This two day course (held on two Thursdays) offers you the chance to gain a comprehensive knowledge of barista skills.

Patisserie short course

  • Central Otago
  • Five weeks (Thursdays, 6.00pm-9.00pm)
  • Starts Next dates TBC
  • Apply anytime

Have a passion for pastry? Learn the art of simple French pastries

Food Safety: Unit 167 (Practice food safety methods in a business under supervision)

  • Central Otago
  • One day per unit
  • Starts to be confirmed for 2021
  • Apply anytime

Working with food? This unit standard is a legal requirement in some workplaces and is recommended for ALL people working, or preparing to work, in a food business. This course is also run as a STAR course for secondary school students.

Coffee-making short course

  • Central Otago
  • One day, 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 10 September
  • Apply anytime

Want to learn the art of coffee-making? This one day course will teach you how to make a great cup of coffee!


Great tastes

Flavia Kupka was already working as a chef when she enrolled in Central’s Professional Cookery programme, and her career has flourished since she graduated.

Having now rapidly progressed through the cheffing roles to become a chef de partie in the sauté section of the up-market restaurant Botswana Butchery in Queenstown, Flavia says she can “absolutely guarantee” the course helped her to become a better chef.

“I was really impressed with all the facilities, the size of the kitchen, the amount of machines for each student and the way the chefs conducted the classes.” Learning from guest chefs and taking part in cooking competitions helped broaden her knowledge of food and ability to cook under pressure.

She also enjoyed how Central’s learning space extended into Otago’s heartland. Among the many memorable experiences were visiting local restaurants, picking grapes and olives, plucking ducks and wine-tasting. Working in a busy restaurant and studying sometimes required a bit of juggling but Flavia says the challenge was well worthwhile. “Just go for it. It is one of the best investments you can do for your career.”