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August Newsletter
The 31st of August marks the end of winter for us in New Zealand. It has been a rather chilly few months, but we have been staying warm and keeping busy. With a whole lot of exciting things happening over the month of August, from student exams, new web developments and opportunities we are keen to let you know all about it!

Job Opportunities Page

Job opportunities page

Exciting news!!

Are you in the industry? Do you need a job? Not sure where to look?

Finding a job can be a daunting task, looking through pages and pages of jobs that may not even relate to you, having to save the search to prevent doing that every time. Many culinary jobs are only advertised by word of mouth, knowing someone that knows someone who is looking for a chef!

We are often approached by businesses looking for trained culinary staff – the number of enquires has ballooned since Covid. A Job Opportunities page has been created on our website to give those on the hunt easy access to jobs they may not have seen otherwise.  We have partnered with Hosco Internationally, and from now on we will be showcasing jobs from around the world, all in one place to make your search easier and more convenient.

All the best for your job hunt!


Alumni Naz launches Soochi


One of our graduates Naz Babapour has recently launched an exciting new product.  Naz graduated from International Culinary Studio in 2021 and has taken her knowledge to produce a fun and exciting way to get collagen into your body. We all know that collagen is something our bodies need as we all start to age, we produce less and less. There are a lot of things about these days to help us get collagen into our bodies, but have you heard of it in a fizzy form? No, me either until Soochi Drinks!

Here are a few words from Naz on her new product:

  • Tell us about your product?

Soochi is a berry flavoured collagen and prebiotic soda. It comes in a ready-to-drink canned format making it really easy to incorporate it into your daily routine. Glow Berry is powerful nutritional support for skin, hair, nails, and digestion that is clean and free from added sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy, gluten, soy, allergens, and dyes.

Our formulation is made with 5000mg of collagen peptides, 5000mg of dietary fibre, adaptogens, elastin, and hyaluronic acid with added vitamin C, beetroot, pomegranate, apples, raspberries and blackcurrants. Soochi is bioavailable, easily digested, and absorbed by the body.


  • Besides you, who was involved in creating this product?

We are a team of 3 female founders. There is Margie Hut, she is our Food Technologist and also works on her family’s dairy farm on the weekends and Tina Chou our Chief Executive, she has a background in marketing and looks after all our sales, project management and marketing. I am the Chief Creative and look after all our design, packaging, social media and website collateral as well as our e-commerce order dispatches.


  • What/who is your target market?

Our target audience is health-conscious females with a focus on Millennials and 50+.


  • Where will you be selling it, are there specific shops?

We are currently available in 44 different stockiest throughout the country (full list on our website soochidrinks.com). Some of the bigger names being all 6 Farro supermarkets in Auckland, selected Raeward Fresh supermarkets as well as recently hitting the shelves of New World Supermarkets in Auckland and Wellington.


  • What are the steps that led you to decide on this product?

Soochi was a Covid baby. I had lost my job working as a Graphic Designer for a travel company, Tina was living in the UK and had decided to move back to New Zealand. We have been friends since we were 15 and were both really excited to start our own food/beverage product. We put the feelers out to see if anyone we knew could recommend a food technologist for us to work with and multiple sources came back to us with Margie Hunt! We are all really passionate about functional eating and beauty from within and after many a brainstorming session, we decided a functional beverage company was the way to go – and collagen and prebiotics being the key ingredients in our first product based on growing trends.


  • What did you do before studying the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4?

I was working as a graphic designer for a travel company and also doing some freelance design work.


  • Do you think that studying New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 helped this process, If yes how?

I definitely think that my studies with the International Culinary Studio helped me start my own business and gave me the confidence to pursue my own food/beverage company.  The food safety module was a great help in particular when it came to our initial benchtop trials and later manufacturing as we needed to pasteurize our drink.


  • What did you think about studying online, was it easier or better for you personally, would you recommend it to anyone?

While studying online has its challenges I genuinely believe I would not have been able to start this business and have been able to have had the growth we did. It was great having flexible studying hours allowing me to work on the course work in the evenings at times if need be.


  • You recently attended the Auckland Food show – how did it go?

The Auckland Food Show went great!! It was hard work – but we had a lot of fun chatting to everyone and seeing all the other amazing stalls.


  • What was the outcome of the food show for your product?

We received really positive feedback at the show and made some important connections with supermarket branch managers, ingredient suppliers and marketing companies. We offered over 5,000 samples to the general public and obtained plenty of email addresses for our database for marketing. We also sold some product too which was a bonus as this was more of a marketing opportunity for us!


  • What has the response been to your product?

The response has been really good!! Obviously not everyone is going to like it, but the general response has been super positive, and we have had so many repeat purchases from both men & women.

Go and check it out – https://soochidrinks.com/

July Exams – Christchurch

July Exams

On July 16th to the 18th International Culinary Studio held theory and practical exams for the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4. It was, as always, a pleasure to see people from all over New Zealand come together to reach the same goal! We are glad to have the opportunity here, to not only provide students with the means to improve themselves, but to also help them follow their dreams, it really is a privilege.

Congratulations to all our students, we look forward to watching your progress and seeing where your new skills take you!

Lockdown Food Swaps

lockdown food swaps

It seems mid lockdown everyone’s cooking up a storm, but what do you do if you’re in the middle of creating a masterpiece for your family bake off and are missing a key ingredient? No need to panic, here’s a helpful list of food swaps.

For each 1 cup of uncooked white or brown rice, use the following amount of the uncooked substitute:
2 cups orzo pasta
1 1/4 cups couscous
3/4 cup barley
1 cup quinoa
1 cup bulgur
1 1/3 cups wheatberries
1 1/2 cups kasha

Cocoa Powder
For every 3 tablespoons, use:
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by 1 tablespoon)
2 ounces semisweet chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by 1 tablespoon and sugar in recipe by 3 tablespoons)

For each cup of red, use:
3/4 cup red grape juice + 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice + 2 tablespoons of water (for marinades)
1 cup beef broth (for sauces and stews)
1 cup beer (for stews)
For each cup of white, use:
3/4 cup white grape juice, apple juice, or apple cider + 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice (for marinades)
1 cup sherry, vermouth, sake, mirin, or chicken or vegetable broth (for sauces and stews)

For each medium onion, use:
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons onion powder
1 cup chopped shallots
1 1/4 cups chopped leeks, green onions or scallions (white and light green parts only)
1 cup frozen chopped onions

Dairy Products
1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water
1 cup half & half = 1 cup whole milk + 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter OR 1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream = 2/3 cup whole milk + 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup + 3 tablespoons cake flour OR 1 cup self-rising flour (omit baking powder + salt from recipe) OR 1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs
1 cup of cake flour = 1 cup pastry flour OR 1 cup minus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup pastry flour = 2/3 cup all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup cake flour
1 cup self-raising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

For each egg in a baking recipe, swap in:
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 pureed banana (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup blended silken tofu
3 tablespoons vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon water
2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (for cakes)

1 cup granulated sugar = 1 3/4 cup un-sifted confectioners? sugar OR 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar OR 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons and lower oven temperature by 25?F)
1 cup dark brown sugar = 1 packed cup light brown sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses OR 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 to 3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup light brown sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 to 2 tablespoons molasses OR 1/2 cup dark brown sugar + 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners? sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon cornstarch, processed in a food processor

For cooking, any oil will do. For baking, use an equivalent amount of:
Regular (not light) margarine
Coconut oil (solid)
If you’ve only got half the amount of butter you need for a baked good recipe, applesauce can work for the rest.

Fees Free – Information

Fees Free

Did you know if you are looking to study the NZQA Level 4 you may be eligible for Fees Free government funding. To find out if you are eligible, simply go to the fees free website and put in your NSN number. Give us a call if you do not know your NSN (national student number) and we can look this up for you.


Student – Testimonial

How good does it feel knowing you have helped someone towards their dreams? It is what we pride ourselves on – helping people live their dreams. Just one of many reasons our company does what it does.


A tertiary educator myself, I applaud the ICS for their forward-thinking approach to the provision of culinary qualifications, and their incredible care and support for their learners.  ICS has very sensibly recognised that it is neither possible, nor necessary, for all learners to be physically present in a traditional classroom in order to learn and gain a qualification.

My 22-year-old daughter has taken a qualification with ICS.  Both she, and I, have been most impressed by the flexibility of the blended/online approach and the opportunities provided for recognition of prior learning.  This model is sensible, accessible, flexible, affordable, and practical. Moreover, the teachers are highly qualified and the care and support for learners as individuals is second to none, in our experience. My daughter simply would not have been able to complete this qualification through a traditional delivery mode, or without your care, encouragement, and support. Thank you, ICS team! You are awesome!!

Congratulations on pushing boundaries in education and being the only provider of highly blended/online culinary qualifications in NZ to be recognised by the World Chef Association.  Very well done to you!


Maura Kempin (Mother)

(Briony Blease – Student)


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