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

  • In work from our Central Otago or Dunedin campuses
  • One year full-time; Two years part-time
  • Level 5
  • Starts - rolling intake from February
  • Apply anytime

Earn while you learn with our in-work cookery programme! Designed for those already working in a culinary environment, you'll design your own advanced dishes and menus; learn how to manage workflow, staffing and supplies in a commercial kitchen; develop a deep understanding of sustainable practice; and ensure you're current with regional, national and global cuisine trends. We offer this programme from both our Central Otago and Dunedin campuses and each has a slightly different delivery style so you can choose the option that suits you best.

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

  • Central Otago
  • One day (8.30am-5.00pm)
  • Starts 30 November 2021, 2022 dates TBA
  • 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 Dates TBA
  • Apply anytime

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

Christmas/Celebration Cakes Masterclass

  • Central Otago
  • Three classes (9.00am-2.00pm)
  • Starts Mon 6, Tues 7 and Wed 8 December 2021
  • Apply now

Who doesn't like cake? During these classes, you'll design, bake and decorate the cake of your choice under the expert guidance of Wanaka-based pastry chef, Clare Pennell (Wanaka Cakes). Clare will help you design a single tier Christmas cake or celebration cake and take you through the baking process. Then you'll learn how to expertly cover and decorate it. And the best can take everything you make during the workshop home with you!

Macaron Masterclass

  • Central Otago
  • Three classes (6.00pm-9.30pm)
  • Starts to be confirmed for 2022
  • Apply now

Anyone for macarons? This hands-on series of masterclasses gives you the rare chance to learn the art of making macarons under the expert guidance of Wanaka-based pastry chef, Clare Pennell (Wanaka Cakes). You'll cover all the basics and Clare will share her tips and secrets to produce a stunning range of classic French macarons - including a range of Christmas-themed macarons. And the best can take everything you make during the workshop home with you!

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

  • Central Otago
  • One day per unit
  • Starts Dates TBA
  • 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.


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.”