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Restaurant Association of New
NZ Chefs Association
Hospitality Business
kitchen products
Restaurant Association of New
NZ Chefs Association
Hospitality Business

New culinary & hospitality school launched to combat skills-shortage

  • 55,000 skilled workers needed in the next five years
  • A fresh approach to vocational education for cooking and hospitality launched
  • Strong focus on building careers to support New Zealand’s $11.7 billion hospitality industry

The Culinary Collective, a progressive school of cooking and hospitality has been launched in Auckland in response to an alarming industry shortage of skilled workers and the need for skills that reflect the new ways people like to eat, drink and be entertained.

According to the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, it is estimated the industry will need another 55,000 skilled workers to meet demand over the next five years.

The Culinary Collective is on a mission to attract more students into the fast-growing cooking and hospitality industry by helping them transform a passion for food and service into a rewarding long-term career.

Offering a range of contemporary qualifications tailored to meet the needs of the modern food and hospitality industry, The Culinary Collective is keenly focused on ensuring qualifications are directly connected to employment outcomes, with all 16 courses offered named after jobs students will be aspiring to work in. This includes the International Chef, the Visionary Foodie, the Professional Chef, the Restaurant Manager, the Front of House and the Entrepreneur Baker.

The Culinary Collective, CEO, Nicole Domett says a new approach to vocational education for cooking and hospitality has the potential to redefine the industry and attract the next generation of industry leaders.

“A recent survey by the Tertiary Education Commission3 found that 18-24 years olds don’t have a positive image of vocational education in New Zealand. We know this applies to hospitality and cooking and there is a job to do in redefining the opportunity – engaging and relevant study is an important starting point.

“The Culinary Collective is taking a fresh approach to equipping students with skills that will support their professional goals and are in-line with industry trends, and importantly we are focused on attracting more students into careers in hospitality by shifting perceptions around what ‘working in hospo’ can be,” says Ms Domett.

Guided by a suite of industry leading tutors and a dedicated careers team, The Culinary Collective works closely with students throughout their study to place them into internships and then transition them successfully into employment.

Industry employment partnerships will see students transitioning into employment with major hotels and resorts such as Sofitel, Grand Mercure, Pullman Hotels, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Cordis Hotel, and

Millennium Hotels and Resorts. For students looking for experience overseas, international employment partnerships will enable students to work in the United Kingdom for hotels like the Ritz Carlton, and in America for hotels within Walt Disney World Resort along with five-star resorts in Banff, Jasper and the Rockies.

According to the MoneyHub guide of ‘What to Study in 2020’, training to be a chef is highlighted as one of the Top 20 areas of study in New Zealand based on where in-demand jobs are, what they pay and the potential for career progression.

“New Zealand is a leading tourism destination and services are at the core of the economy. Training to be a chef is an excellent career choice, given the demand for jobs here and worldwide. It’s creative, flexible, self-managing and highly engaging,” said Christopher Walsh, senior research at MoneyHub.

“Best of all, many chefs go on to run their own business, and/or expand entrepreneurially in other ventures. It’s a career that is only going up, with opportunities for every interest.”

Taking a distinctive approach to higher learning for cooking and hospitality, The Culinary Collective will teach students a diverse mix of traditional and contemporary skills, in and out of the classroom, spanning classical cooking and service techniques, contemporary hospitality trends such as the global move towards relaxed fine dining, along with a stronger focus on provenance and sustainability.

“The Culinary Collective reflects New Zealand’s unique food culture hallmarked by a diverse mix of flavours and cultures, world-class produce from paddock, land and sea, and the driving passion Kiwis have to be innovative, and find new ways of doing things. We are creating a learning environment that will allow students to forge their own personalised ethos around food and service, and further expand the global impact of Kiwi-centric hospitality through a successful career,” says Ms Domett, CEO of The Culinary Collective.

The Culinary Collective forms part of the category one provider NZMA which is part of UP Education, the largest provider of career and industry focused skills and qualifications in New Zealand. Each year, over 80% of UP Education graduates go on to higher study or successful employment.

Student enrolments are now open for The Culinary Collective with the first cohort of students beginning study in February 2020.  For more information, visit 

The post New culinary & hospitality school launched to combat skills-shortage appeared first on Hospitality Business.

AUT applauds hospitality excellence

Top Auckland restaurateur Tony Stewart was acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to New Zealand’s hospitality industry at AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Awards ceremony on December 9.

His commitment to food and service excellence were key factors in his award nomination, says Dr David Williamson, Head of the school’s hospitality department.

“Tony Stewart’s Clooney restaurant has set a new dining experience standard,” he says.

“Since leaving Clooney, Tony’s commitment to recognising New Zealand produce and terroir has provided an inspirational future view.”

Dr Williamson says Tony Stewart appears to be on a never-ending quest in his contribution to the industry.

Tony Stewart says he is humbled and somewhat shocked to receive the award, however he was proud to be recognised for his past and future contributions.

Kate Fay

One of Auckland’s top chefs, Kate Fay of the renowned Cibo in Parnell, was also acclaimed at AUT’s awards ceremony, also gaining an Outstanding Achievement Award.

The award recognises not only her 25-years at Cibo, including 21 years as Head Chef, but also her innovative approach to cuisine.

Exemplifying the latter is Kate Fay’s infamous hāpuka and slipper lobster with spicy XO and coconut porridge, followed up with Valrhona chocolate with a peanut slab, fondant and macaron for dessert.

In 2018 Beef and Lamb New Zealand awarded her a platinum ambassadorship award for winning four standard ambassadorships (1999, 2005, 2013, 2018). Kate is the first woman chef to receive this award and there are only eight holders of the award nationwide.

The Head of AUT’s culinary programmes, John Kelly, says she is a great role model for chefs.

“Kate’s approach to food and willingness to train staff are legendary,” he says.

“We are delighted to honour her in this way.”

The post AUT applauds hospitality excellence appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Zest OK opens for the socially-conscious youth traveller

If a fun, social vibe is what you’re looking for from your next stay in the City of Sails, then the latest addition to Auckland’s youth accommodation scene is designed with you in mind.

The world’s first Zest OK youth hotel has opened in Auckland’s Grafton ushering in a new era for backpacking in the city. This exciting new addition to the accommodation fold offers private rooms, with lively shared spaces to make your stay a memorable one.

Created for the young and young-at-heart, Zest OK promises a fun, social environment for short and long term travellers .The central Grafton location ensures entertainment is on the doorstep with transport hubs in close proximity, the buzz of the central city is 10 minutes away, as well as being a convenient distance from Spark Arena and festival hotspots.

Designed with the socially-conscious youth traveller in mind, this affordable two-star youth hotel delivers a vibrant atmosphere where meeting new people is encouraged, thanks to the shared social spaces available.

“Zest OK offers guests a vibrant place to stay where meeting new people is encouraged. It’s designed to enhance the travel experience, allowing you to share your experiences and make them even more memorable with new friends,” states Oliver Faull, Vice President of Australia and New Zealand for Swiss-Belhotel International.

Made up of 321 rooms with a choice of single or double occupancy, each room is fitted with a bed, fridge, desk and windows, along with shared bathrooms (two per floor) and common areas on each of the 11 floors.

The shared social spaces are where the action happens, with each floor featuring a kitchen, lounge/TV room and laundry facilities. While a large outdoor space fitted with a BBQ and covered seating is on offer for all guests to enjoy.

Each guest is provided with a security card with 24 hour access and entry to your floor and common areas, ensuring a safe and secure environment.

This new addition will extend Auckland’s youth accommodation offering and provide a value-conscious option for those looking to make their dollar go further.

Zest OK has a summer special, offering guests a week-long stay for $265 (now – 31 January 2020). Daily and monthly rates are also available.

The post Zest OK opens for the socially-conscious youth traveller appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Sean Connolly exits SkyCity Auckland

Celebrity chef Sean Connolly is hanging up one of his many hats and calling last orders, as he departs from his role as Signature Chef at SkyCity Auckland’s The Grill and Gusto at the Grand. Sean’s last day at SkyCity will be 31 December 2019.

SkyCity would like to thank Sean for the many years he has dedicated to the Auckland precinct, where he played a considerable role in helping to establish the popular Federal Street dining precinct.

Michael Ahearne, Group Chief Operating Officer, says that he and the wider SkyCity team have thoroughly enjoyed working with Sean, where his industry knowledge and culinary skills has created amazing experiences for customers and employees.

“The talents of Sean Connolly, combined with our great working relationship, has resulted in outstanding results and success at our outlets, helping put Federal Street on the map and creating to a lasting reputation for the precinct,” says Mr Ahearne.

Sean Connolly says that it has been a very tough decision, “when I joined SkyCity Auckland more than eight years ago, the Federal Street dining precinct was just an idea. Today it is widely recognised as a premier dining district and home to some of the best restaurants in Auckland,” says Mr Connolly.

“I’ve had a thrilling journey with the group and I’m proud that my time with The Grill and Gusto have contributed to the legacy of Federal Street. I leave with great memories and I will miss the unbelievably talented team of staff that I have been so lucky to work with.

“I want to thank SkyCity COO Michael Ahearne, Exec GM, Hospitality Callum Mallett and the SkyCity Board for their vision in creating a home to some of the best bars and restaurants in Auckland. They have truly redefined the inner city and created a culinary heart for Auckland,” says Mr Connolly.

“Sean leaves SkyCity with our best wishes for the future, but this isn’t goodbye, as we look forward to continuing to work with him via Sean’s Kitchen, which is located at SkyCity Adelaide,” says Mr Ahearne.

Operations at SkyCity’s The Grill and Gusto at the Grand will remain the same, where the array of food and drinks that customers love will continue to be served. Ryan Allen will continue to lead the team as the Head Chef at The Grill, alongside, Vaughan Kay, Head Chef at Gusto at the Grand.

SkyCity is excited to launch its summer menus, alongside a delicious oyster and champagne offering over the coming months.

The post Sean Connolly exits SkyCity Auckland appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Interest sought for Dunedin luxury hotel

The Dunedin City Council has put the call out for developers to register interest in building a high-quality hotel complex.

To be located on the CBD’s Moray Place/Filleul Street carpark site, interested parties are being asked to submit registrations of interest which include concept designs and details of their development experience.

Demand for a luxury hotel has increased significantly in Dunedin reports High-end, boutique and or self catered accommodation such as the Chamberson and The Terminus have emerged lately, but tourist and business event operators confirm there is further need.

The post Interest sought for Dunedin luxury hotel appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Hospitality New Zealand appoints new CEO

The Hospitality New Zealand Board has announced the appointment of Julie White to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Julie is looking forward to working closely with the association’s Board, elevating Hospitality NZ’s reputation as a high value contributor to New Zealand’s economy and an important part of the tourism sector.

“I look forward to working closely with Julie as we continue to support our members, advocate tirelessly for the industry and bring value to our members,” said Jeremy Smith, President of the association on announcing the appointment.

The post Hospitality New Zealand appoints new CEO appeared first on Hospitality Business.

2020 ASB Classic Ice Rocks Lounge returns

To celebrate the summer season, Moët & Chandon has announced its return to the 2020 ASB Classic with the coveted Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge. This luxury poolside champagne lounge is set to once again be the central hub of all off-court action at the tennis this summer.

Returning for the seventh year as the official champagne sponsor of the tournament, the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge channels the sophistication and chic atmosphere of a Malibu Beach Club, complete with a poolside oasis.

The champagne lounge will be located at the centre of the tournament’s entertainment precinct, ‘The Serve’, and will be across two levels with an upper dining and bar level; set under alfresco pergolas and a lower poolside area; for lounging and watching all the on-court action on the big screens.

The Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge will serve, for the first time in New Zealand, Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé; the world’s first rosé champagne especially made to be enjoyed over ice.

Described as the closest thing to capturing the flavours of a golden pink sunset within a bottle, Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé will be served exclusively at the ASB Classic.

Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch

The Lounge will also play host to the glamorous Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch at the 2020 ASB Classic. Guests will be treated to a stylish afternoon of fresh cuisine, ice cold Moët and exciting entertainment, all poolside and set to the modern pink and white tones of the highly anticipated Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé.

Attendees at the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch will be among the first to enjoy the champagne’s fruity and vibrant bouquet which has been paired to complement a delicious set menu showcasing a selection of fresh sashimi and seafood.

With ice being a key element of Moët Ice Imperial Rosé, guests will be treated to a live ice carving demonstration before adding the ice directly to their goblets along with fresh summer condiments including fresh mint, lemon or grapefruit, a cucumber peel or a slice of ginger.

The Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch will have an all-white and rosé theme, so all guests will be encouraged to don their best tennis whites and incorporate pops of pink into their outfit.

“The Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge will be the perfect combination of what the tournament’s off-court experience is all about; championship tennis, long summer days, delicious food and of course, ice-cold Moët & Chandon to celebrate,” says Juliet McInnes, Senior Brand Manager, Moët & Chandon.

“We are excited to not only bring back the Moët & Chandon Long Lunch event, as this has become a fan-favourite, but to finally treat New Zealanders to Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé, the new drink of the summer season!”

Guests are invited to experience all the action live at the ASB Classic, 6 January 2020 -18 January 2020 from the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge, which can be accessed by all tickets and ground passes. Please note the Moët Ice Rocks Lounge is R18+ only.

The Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lunch will take place on Saturday 11 January before the Women’s Semi Finals Tournament kicks off. Tickets to the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch will also include a ground pass for a day of tennis. Tickets are available now from

The post 2020 ASB Classic Ice Rocks Lounge returns appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Seasonal seafood for December – January

Planning your summer seafood menus? December’s fish of the month is the delicious King Salmon, and for January, Bigeye Tuna adds flavour and freshness.

King salmon, known as Hāmana in Maori, is a fish worthy of its name, prized for its rich flavour and delicate texture.

Members of the Salmonidae family (trout, salmon), king salmon was introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century. The species varies in colour, but fresh run salmon are largely silver, with a dark tinge on its back, dotted with black spots.

King salmon has a full, rich flavour with a delicate, “melt in the mouth” texture. It is highly regarded for its taste and texture – the result of a premium breed of salmon, which stores higher levels of natural oils. It is also a very versatile fish that can be cooked using a variety of methods. It cooks quickly and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

King salmon is delicious both cooked and served rare. It is frequently eaten raw as sushi or sashimi. You can buy king salmon whole, filleted, portioned or smoked. Good-quality king salmon will have an even consistency of vibrant apricot colour across the salmon meat, with firm, moist flesh.

The premium taste and texture of king salmon make it a popular Christmas protein, both when eating out or as part of a family celebration. For a quick and easy meal, try barbequed salmon. Mix together a handful of roughly chopped chervil and Italian parsley, lime zest, a pinch of chilli flakes, and a clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and dip into herb mix until generously coated. Barbeque until the fish is just cooked through. Serve on a bed of grilled seasonal vegetables, with a basil pesto sauce. For the complete recipe, visit

Bigeye tuna

Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) are a fish belonging to the Scombridae, tuna and mackerel, family.

Favouring cool waters, this fish is found in depths of 300 metres off the coasts of New Zealand’s North Island where they are mainly caught by longline. The season for bigeye is typically between January and March, then September to November, with no catch from April to August.

As its name suggests, bigeye are distinguished by their large eyes, stout body and thick first dorsal fins. They have a metallic dark blue body, fading into a grey-white belly, and a lateral blue band that runs along the sides. A yellow sheen can be seen when big eye is first caught.

Bigeye tuna is regarded as a premium fish. Its deep red flesh lacks bones and has a rich flavour and texture that’s prized amongst foodies.

Packed full of omega-3s, this fish also has a higher fat content than other species of tuna, making it ideal for grilling, roasting and pan-searing, as it won’t dry out.

While the taste and texture of this fish is typically championed in raw dishes like sashimi or carpaccio, cooked bigeye is equally delicious.

Try making tuna skewers for an easy to prepare, summer dish. Blitz together fennel seeds, lemon zest and salt and pepper until a breadcrumb consistency. Skewer 2.5cm cubes of tuna, alternating with layers of onion, onto soaked rosemary stems or wooden skewers. Brush with olive oil and dust with the fennel crumb. Barbecue or grill for 6-8 minutes, turning once. For more seafood recipes, visit

The post Seasonal seafood for December – January appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Fuss free bespoke service wins

The Rees Queenstown has been officially recognised as the ‘Best Ski Hotel in New Zealand 2019’ at the World Ski Awards in Kitzbühel, Austria.

The annual premiere awards programme, now in its seventh year, celebrates excellence in ski tourism and brings together representatives from ski nations across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia.

It is the fourth consecutive time the luxury five star hotel, luxury apartments & lakeside residences on the shores of the Wakatipu overlooking the Remarkables mountain range, has been voted the number one world class performer.

The win is an international stamp of approval by peers, agents, industry groups and guests as the hotel has no oversight over who votes.

Sion Rapson, Managing Director of the World Ski Awards calls the win a “remarkable achievement”.

“Throughout the year, a record number of votes have been cast by leading ski tourism professionals as well as hundreds of thousands of ski visitors from across the globe. Ski tourism’s highest accolade is truly deserved and rewards your commitment to excellence and determination to become the undisputed market leader,” he says.

“We love the challenge of creating personalised experiences that lift the bar not only for the winter season, but all year round,” says Mark Rose, CEO of The Rees Hotel.

The smorgasbord of snow packages the property offers is extensive. They cater to all levels from the beginner to the elite freestyle powder-hound. From heli-skiing in the heart of the Southern Alps to exclusive access to backcountry terrain and all the top skifields that Queenstown has to offer.

“We launched our ‘Soho Experience’ this season – it’s an exclusive skiing experience over 260 hectares of the private backcountry Soho Basin complete with snowcat transfers that ends with a gourmet three-course lunch which has proven to be a fantastic collaboration that we’re really proud of,” Rose says.

Skiing families are a specialty too at the luxury property with cute activity packs for every child on arrival, in-house babysitters, degustation menus even private cooking lessons with the Executive Chef Corey Hume.

All guests enjoy the convenience of an on-site ski locker plus in-room custom fittings for all ski rental equipment. The fuss free bespoke service is simple and made online prior to arrival. Follow-up service and collection is included.

The post Fuss free bespoke service wins appeared first on Hospitality Business.

From South Auckland to Spain to cook with truffles

Winika Hutchins has always dreamed of becoming a top chef.

The 25-year-old Ignite Colleges student landed her first kitchen job at 15, working as a dish washer at her local café, Pukekohe’s Poco Loco. Now, nine years later, she’s sharpening her knives and heading to Spain where she will represent New Zealand in the world truffles championships – Cocinando con Trufa.

“It’s fair to say I’m a mix of extremely excited and extremely nervous,” Winika says.

That’s not surprising. Not only is this the first cooking competition she has ever competed in, but it is also the first time she’s ever set foot outside New Zealand.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but the journey of coming up with a competition dish has been amazing, and I’m really looking forward to meeting other chefs from around the world and learning from them.”

Now in its second year, Cocinando con Trufa – or Cooking with Truffles – takes place in Soria from December 2 – 4 and draws teams from all over the world keen to showcase their culinary skills. This year Winika and her teammate, acclaimed chef Alok Vasanth from The Tasting Shed, will be up against competitors from USA, UK, South Africa, Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, Ecuador and Argentina.

“Each team is made up of a professional chef and a culinary student or recent cookery graduate,” says Winika, who juggles her full time job as Head Chef at Poco Loco with full time cookery studies at Ignite Colleges in Manukau. It’s here, at the Ignite Colleges state-of-the-art training kitchens, that Winika and Alok have been honing their truffle cooking skills to prepare for the competition.

“I don’t want to give away too much about our dish, but it will feature truffle-infused New Zealand lamb and also include a leek and truffle tart.”

If the pair make it through to the final round, they’ll have to think on their feet for the much-anticipated mystery box challenge.

“It’s going to be an amazing experience. I’ll learn so much and the opportunity to make connections with chefs from other countries will be invaluable because my long-term goal is to work as a chef internationally.”

She will certainly have the chance to demonstrate her talents to some of the best in the business. The judging panel includes the likes of Chef Elena Arzak (named the world’s best female chef in 2012), Oriol Castro (chef and owner of Disfrutar, one of the world’s top restaurants) and Ricardo Costa, (one of Portugal’s most celebrated chefs). Also on the judging panel is award-winning chef Jasbir Kaur, General Manager of Ignite Colleges, president of the Auckland branch of the NZChefs Association, and the only New Zealand judge to be selected.

The competition will serve as a perfect entrée to next year’s main course when, as part of Ignite Colleges International Diploma in Culinary Arts Level 5, Winika will spend three months interning at a Michelin starred restaurant in Spain.

It’s high-profile stuff, and a long way from the daily grind in South Auckland.

“I grew up on the rough side of town. Lots of people just stay living in their bubbles but it’s nice to get out and do something different. I want to broaden my horizons.”

The post From South Auckland to Spain to cook with truffles appeared first on Hospitality Business.


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