Cookery

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!

PROGRAMMES

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

  • Dunedin or Central Otago (Youth Guarantee only available in Dunedin)
  • 1 semester full-time (Dunedin); 1 year part-time (Central Otago)
  • Level 3
  • Starts February and July (Dunedin only)
  • Apply by 30 November and 30 April

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 4
  • Starts February
  • Apply by 30 November (Dunedin - late applications will be accepted based on availability of places); 15 January (Central Otago)

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 5
  • Starts February
  • Apply now!
SHORT COURSES

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 day (8.30am-5pm)
  • Starts Thursday 18 May, 2017; Monday 26 June, 2017; Tuesday 1 August, 2017
  • Apply 10 days before each start date

Barista skills short course

  • Central Otago
  • 2 days (1 & 8 June 2017), 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 1 June, 2017
  • Apply anytime

Food Safety: Unit 167

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 day per unit
  • Starts 19 April, 2017 or 2 October, 2017 (Dunedin); 15 June, 2017 (Central)
  • Apply anytime

Coffee-making short course

  • Central Otago
  • 1 day, 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 28 March, 2017
  • Apply anytime

STAR - Espresso Coffee/Coffee Origin and Production

  • Central Otago
  • 2 days
  • Starts - please enquire
  • Apply anytime

Food Safety: Unit 168

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 day per unit
  • Starts 20 April, 2017 or 3 Oct, 2017 (Dunedin); To be confirmed (Central)
  • Apply anytime

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

  • Dunedin or Central Otago (Youth Guarantee only available in Dunedin)
  • 1 semester full-time (Dunedin); 1 year part-time (Central Otago)
  • Level 3
  • Starts February and July (Dunedin only)
  • Apply by 30 November and 30 April

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 4
  • Starts February
  • Apply by 30 November (Dunedin - late applications will be accepted based on availability of places); 15 January (Central Otago)

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 5
  • Starts February
  • Apply now!

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 day (8.30am-5pm)
  • Starts Thursday 18 May, 2017; Monday 26 June, 2017; Tuesday 1 August, 2017
  • Apply 10 days before each start date

Barista skills short course

  • Central Otago
  • 2 days (1 & 8 June 2017), 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 1 June, 2017
  • Apply anytime

Food Safety: Unit 167

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 day per unit
  • Starts 19 April, 2017 or 2 October, 2017 (Dunedin); 15 June, 2017 (Central)
  • Apply anytime

Coffee-making short course

  • Central Otago
  • 1 day, 9.00am-4.00pm
  • Starts 28 March, 2017
  • Apply anytime

STAR - Espresso Coffee/Coffee Origin and Production

  • Central Otago
  • 2 days
  • Starts - please enquire
  • Apply anytime

Food Safety: Unit 168

  • Dunedin or Central Otago
  • 1 day per unit
  • Starts 20 April, 2017 or 3 Oct, 2017 (Dunedin); To be confirmed (Central)
  • Apply anytime
Chris McLean Apprentice Challenge winner
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HOW TO

get the skills you need for a career you love!

At Otago Polytechnic, we understand this is the way the world works, and we’ve got plenty of study options that can help you get into a career you’ll love, without wasting any time!!

See more awesome How To videos here >

  • Emma Waser - Cookery

    Emma Waser was a student at Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka when she made the decision to study cookery at Otago Polytechnic's Central campus.

    As a keen baker, Emma knew she needed to learn the basics and broaden her cookery skills to be able to make a career out of it. She did her research and found the Cookery programme at Central offered exactly what she wanted. “It was the hands-on learning that really appealed to me”, she said. “Having lots of time in the kitchen is really important, and the programme has really lived up to my expectations and more”.

    Not only has Emma learnt a broad range of skills that will set her up well for a career in cookery, but she has also maximised the amazing opportunities that are often offered to the students. Emma was a member of the Central team who competed this year at the Nestlé Toque d’or competition and was also selected to represent New Zealand at the New Zealand – Vietnam culinary collaboration.  Emma was part of the winning team and said she couldn’t have done it without the help she received from her cookery tutors. “It was such a fantastic opportunity, and I really wanted to go into it as prepared as I could be. My tutors were fantastic, helping me practice and prepare for the competition ahead.  The whole NZ – Vietnam experience was awesome, it was very special to be able to cook using different ingredients, and fantastic experiencing a different culture”.

    Emma is in her second year of cookery at Otago Polytechnic’s Central campus and is looking forward to what the future holds.  “Cookery opens up so many doors and there are plenty of opportunities here and overseas that are out there just waiting for me”.

  • Toque D'Or winners

    Cooking for Gold

    Winning the supreme award at the annual Toque d’Or competition was the ultimate recognition for all the hard work three Central students invested in their 2014 Cookery programmes. Ashleigh Kerr, Emma Evans and Erin Fenemor were an invincible team, wowing the judges – and themselves – with their culinary achievements.

    “It was hands-down the most proud I have ever been in myself and in my team. We put so much time and energy into this competition and to come away as the supreme winners was unbelievable,” says Emma.

    Like her other two team-mates Erin loved how learning at Central involved the “gate to plate” philosophy and perhaps it was this style of learning that gave them the edge over their rivals.

    “That we get to cook locally grown or sourced food, I think that is just awesome!” she says.

    Ashleigh Kerr, Emma Evans and Erin Fenemor
    Toque d’Or 2014 supreme winners

  • Flavia Kupka

    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.”

  • Nestlé Toque d’Or 2015 – the Judges’ Views

    Nestlé Toque d’Or 2015 – the Judges’ Views

    Utilising a top quality cut of sirloin beef, along with a secondary cut of ox tail enabled the competitors to really stimulate their creative juices and produce some of the most appreciative dishes ever seen in the 25 years of Nestlé Toque d’Or.

    Sponsored by Moffat, the Innovation Award challenges students to ‘think outside the square’ and demonstrate new ways of using Nestlé Professional products across the menus that they create.

    “Nestlé Toque d’Or has long been a playing field for encouraging young culinary stars to be innovative, in terms of their use of lead sponsor Nestlé Professional’s products. 2015 was no exception, with the Central Campus Otago Polytechnic team proving to be the standout winner.

    “The rub of NESTLÉ HIGHLANDER Sweetened Condensed Milk along with MAGGI Onion Bouillon not only enhanced the flavour of the cooked beef but also assisted with caramelising the outside of the cut during the cooking process. Such a clever approach proved to be not only innovative but also very useful in delivering the ultimate dining experience when the beef was cooked and served.”

    Read the full article here.