(+64) 027 534 4149 [email protected]

March is flying by, a busy time for all, packed with fundraiser events, weddings, sports break ups and celebrations making the most of the last of the summer weather. We have a full month with new course inductions, student exams and creating new course options and content – we are always up to something new, so keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for the latest!

Coffee and Chat


Coffee and Chat is a regular feature on our student calendar. Held fortnightly this online forum is for all International Culinary Studio students. Hosted by Chef Helen, it is an opportunity for students to meet up and interact. A topic is covered each session and we regularly have a high calibre of guest speakers and demonstrations. Students are encouraged to attend, but of course all sessions are recorded and held in the Learner Management System’s library for all to access and re-watch at any time.

Coffee and Chat is generally restricted to students, but we do have some sessions open to the public- these will be advertised on our Facebook page ahead of time.

Here is an outline of our recent and upcoming sessions:

24th February Learning to Learn Strategies for accelerating learning and boosting performance.
10th March Just a Little bit Fancy Take your dishes to the next level as Executive Chef Andy Cordier shows you how to plate for the best impact.
23rd March Curious About Level 5? Have you got what it takes to go to the next level? Join Chef Sam Burgess as she presents her Level 5 Portfolio – includes advanced culinary techniques.
7th April Reaching Your Goals Overcoming adversity and having a winners mindset with Byron Ovenstone. OPEN TO ALL
21st April  Food Photos like a Professional Alan Gillard is a freelance photographer who has  worked on over 150 cook books. Alan will share some tips and tricks for that perfect mouth watering food photo. OPEN TO ALL
5th May Foundation of Cooking A fantastic cooking demo featuring Chef Helen and Chef Danni looking at “Mother Sauces” and the basics of cookery.
19th May CV & Cover Letters to get you noticed Loren from Lemonaide gives you the essentials to put together the perfect eye catching CV. OPEN TO ALL
2nd June Small Business – What you need to know  Operations Manager, Ingrid Ovenstone and Peg & Pickle’s Bee Yuill give us all the “need to knows” to help you on the way with a successful small business.

Be Recognised For Your Skills and Experience


Did you know that if you are experienced in the culinary industry but have no formal qualification, you can now be recognised for your skills?

We have many students that choose to use our RPL (recognition of Prior Learning) process to earn the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4.

 Evidence is provided of the student’s skills and experience – this can be through a combination of references, certificates, photos of dishes made etc and then skills are matched to the course content. Once a student is accepted for RPL they then have 3 months to complete course summative assessments on our Learner Management System and sit a final theory and practical exam – these are held in either Auckland or Christchurch. The whole process takes approx. 4 months. Here’s what one of our recent graduates Apvinderjit Sandhu has to say about the process.

Email [email protected] for more information.


Study Smarter – Not Harder


Study is something we’ve all had to attempt at some stage in our lives, I am sure with varying degrees of effectiveness! We all approach study differently whether it be a methodical approach from the start or a 2 day cram before exams. I have added a few tips here you might want to add to your study arsenal.

Pick your Environment  

Do you prefer the quiet of a library or do you like most people need a little background noise? Music playing quietly in the back ground can help you to relax. Studying is rarely quiet as you will often repeat phrases/ terms out loud to help with memory retention.

Eliminate Distractions

In order to study smarter, not harder, you will need to eliminate distractions during your study sessions. Social media, web browsing, game playing, texting, etc. will severely affect the intensity of your study sessions if you allow them! Research is clear that multi-tasking (e.g., responding to texts, while studying), increases the amount of time needed to learn material and decreases the quality of the learning (Junco, 2012).

Eliminating the distractions will allow you to fully engage during your study sessions. If you don’t need your computer for homework, then don’t use it. Use apps to help you set limits on the amount of time you can spend at certain sites during the day. Turn your phone off. Reward intensive studying with a social-media break (but make sure you time your break!)

Find the Perfect Setting – This can change!

Study in a place and time that works best for you. If you have family/ flat mates at home, studying in common areas when everyone is around is not usually very productive! You can also get stale in the same place all of the time, maybe mix it up a bit and make it a little more enjoyable, try a quiet café or a sunny spot in your backyard.

Use all of your Resources

Maybe arrange a zoom study catch up with some fellow students or book a call with your chef assessor if you have anything you are not sure about and need clarification on.

Use Down time to your Advantage

Have a quieter week or a little downtime? Maybe use the time as a quick 30min intensive self-test, by keeping it short it may be more productive.

Become a Teacher

Explain material in your own words to a study group, friend/family or out loud to yourself, this will help identify areas you are not 100% confidant on. Make yourself a quiz, this will make you think from a teacher perspective about what they will want you know.  Identify the questions that you don’t know and quiz yourself on only those questions. Say your answers aloud. This will help you to retain the information and make corrections where they are needed.


Why a CV?


We have had many new course applicants ask why they need to include a CV (curriculum vitae).  It is surprising the amount of people that either do not have one at all, or it is out of date.

A CV is designed to showcase your work experience and skills to potential employers. It is good practice to keep updating this whenever you have completed a new course, had a promotion, changed employers, learned a new skill or joined a new group/ club where experience or skills can be gained. You never know when the perfect job or course will appear!

At International Culinary Studio the CV is an important part of our enrolment process. We have students from a range of countries, with very varied backgrounds and skill levels. It is an important tool in determining that a student is on the best course for their needs.

Our Chef Instructors rely on a CV to help create a picture of the student – e.g some have strong computer skills and some need a little more help, some have done tertiary study so are very comfortable in a learning environment while others are fairly new to study.

If you don’t have a CV yet I do encourage you to get started. These can be as simple or as involved as you like. Most include name, contact details and work history. They can also include courses studied, clubs and volunteer work and interests etc. There are some fantastic easy and free templates you can use, simply google “free CV templates” and get started!


Video Content – Watch this Space!


At International Culinary Studio we are fortunate that Rax, our Web developer is also very handy with a camera!

Going forward you can expect to see a greater focus on video content, including demonstrations, tutorials and interactive events, whether for our students on our learner management system or via social media.

We have found video is a very effective tool for presenting information and gives students and others the opportunity to re-watch content at any time.

We’d love you to tell us what you would like to see, don’t be shy, email us at [email protected]



Barista Course


Are you a student looking for part time work? The Barista Course could be just what you are after, open to students 14+, this course will give you the skills needed to get started working as a Barista in a restaurant or café. Study can be completed in as little as 6.5 weeks and can be done from home –  you will need access to a commercial espresso machine for your practical assignments.

How Exciting!!


A big congratulations to Ingrid Ovenstone our Operations Manager, who is soon to become a Granny for the first time!  We know you are waiting patiently but SUPER EXCITED!!