(+64) 027 534 4149 [email protected]

March is flying by! It’s 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 launching our revamped NZQA Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Cookery or Patisserie – we are always up to something new, so keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and events!

The International Culinary Studio 




Cheryl Cordier is our Director of Studies at the International Culinary Studio. Her life story is the stuff of legends, not only is she a Culinary Guru in her own right, but she is also an award-winning Businesswoman and our dynamic leader at ICS.

Cheryl grew up in rural sugar cane country in KwaZulu Natal, and as a child already fluent in English, Zulu and German, she had big dreams of becoming a teacher. Life had other plans for her, and as fate would have it a brand new hotel went up in their town and Cheryl started working there as a teenager. Almost immediately, her love for the hospitality industry was born. After qualifying as a Hotel Manager at the age of 21, she started her own highly successful catering and events company which she sold at 28 years old.


For the next few years, Cheryl worked at several different colleges in various roles and gained an enormous amount of experience in the business of education. In 2003 Cheryl opened a hugely successful Chef College in South Africa (www.capsicumcooking.com).  Starting out with just 4 students enrolling in its first year, it was sold to a listed company 13 years later with over 1000 annual enrolments and 6 campuses countrywide.

Cheryl relocated to New Zealand in 2013 with her family, and after extensive research and planning, the International Culinary Studio was born.  A cutting-edge educational facility – an industry first – that offers online culinary qualifications and accreditations for everyone, from home school students to industry professionals around the world.

A true labour of love from her two biggest passions – education and culinary arts.

What’s On The Menu?



Serves: 6-8 Portions

Origin of dish: France

Degree of Difficulty: ****

Prep 30min

Bake 25min

Ready in 55min


1 package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

2 teaspoons white sugar, or as needed for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with a silicone sheet.
  2. Separate dough at the seams into 4 squares and place on prepared baking sheet. Score the dough all over with the tines of a fork to prevent it from rising too much when baking. Lightly sprinkle dough sheets with white granulated sugar.
  3. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and 3 sheets of aluminium foil. Nest another baking sheet on top to apply some pressure to the dough while it bakes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes; remove top pan and foil and gently peel off the parchment paper. Return pan to oven and bake until pastry is beautifully browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (Optionally, you can bake about 7 minutes after uncovering, then flip sheets over and bake until brown on the other side, another 7 minutes.)
  5. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.
  6. Square the sheets by trimming uneven edges off sheets using a sharp serrated knife with light sawing motion to keep the pastry from breaking. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3 equal smaller rectangles. Use 3 small rectangles per pastry.

Mille-Feuille (Napoleon Pastry)


We thought we’d share this classic recipe. I’m sure it will bring back memories of family dinners for many of you! It is interesting to note that mention of the mille-feuille dates back to 1600s France in 1651, Chef François Pierre de la Varenne published the mille-feuille recipe in Le Cuisinier François. This was one of the earliest French cookbooks and also included early recipes for the use of roux and béchamel sauce.


Vanilla Pastry cream


1 large whole egg

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean

4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed


Prep 10min

Cook 20min

Ready in 2h 30min

  1. Place whole egg and 2 egg yolks into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, corn starch, and salt. Whisk together completely until mixture turns from yellow to a very pale creamy colour and is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Place milk in a saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape the cut side with a paring knife to extract the seeds (paste). Add the seeds to the milk. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until milk just barely starts to simmer and a few small bubbles appear on the surface. Remove from heat. Whisk hot milk into egg mixture, starting with a small splash then incorporating the rest. Pour mixture back into saucepan.
  3. Place pan over medium-low heat and continue to whisk until mixture begin to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool 5 minutes. Add chunks of butter and whisk until butter melts into the warm mixture. Pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Cover surface with plastic to keep it from discolouring; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled 2 to 3 hours.

Recognition of Prior Learning for the NZQA Certificate in Cookery Level 4


We are happy to advise we are now able to offer our NZQA Certificate in Cookery Level 4 as an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) option to potential students that are New Zealand citizens or residents, as well as those based here on a work visa. Once the RPL has been approved you will have 3 months to complete the course checkpoints and a final theory and practical exam, meaning this process falls within the 3-month window allowable on a visa.

 Did you know you can get the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 qualification based on evidence of your previous experience in culinary?

Have you worked in a commercial kitchen for 5 or more years?

Do you have culinary experience/certificates in another country that don’t seem to be recognised in New Zealand?

Do you want a qualification, have the experience, but don’t have the time to study?

The RPL process for the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 is a great option for anyone who has worked in commercial kitchens for 5+ years but is not qualified, or for someone who has been a chef outside of New Zealand and is looking for a New Zealand qualification.

If you’re looking for that potential pay rise that being qualified can give you, or want to be recognised for all the hard work that you have put in over the years, RPL of the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 could be for you.

Here are a few key points about the RPL process that might interest you:

  • You can apply for RPL if you are on a work visa (there is no study element in this process)
  • You DO need to have a good understanding and be able to speak and write in English. All correspondence, written material, conversations with chef assessors and exams are in English.
  • The entire process can be completed in a maximum of 4 months – this can sometimes be quicker, depending on workload and particularly if ALL evidence required is presented in one application.
  • You will be required to sit a practical and theory exam. You will be required to pay any travel and accommodation costs to get to your exam. If you are looking to sit your exams outside of our scheduled exams, these will be set just for you and there will be additional costs involved including assessor costs, venue hire etc.


To find out more visit our website: https://www.internationalculinarystudio.com/recognition-of-prior-learning-rpl/




Recognition of Prior Learning Survey

Have you been working in a commercial kitchen for years with no formal chef qualification?

By applying for Recognition of Prior Learning, which recognises work experience, you can be qualified in either the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 , or a Worldchefs (WACS) and City & Guilds Hospitality Digital Certification.

 We invite you to complete the survey,  and once we have the information our career advisor will book a FREE no obligations meeting with you to discuss your options.



International Woman’s Day


 International Women’s Day 2022 is all about #BreakTheBias and what everyone can do collectively to strive for equality, say goodbye to stereotypes and celebrate women.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th the International Culinary Studio is excited to be offering our women in culinary an opportunity to win a professional portrait photoshoot.

Having a professional portrait photo to use on your CV, Facebook, Instagram or Linked In pages, always makes you feel proud and special, and you will portray the best image of yourself to the business world.

You may enter yourself or enter a deserving woman in the culinary world who you feel would love to improve their photo image and overall improve their exposure opportunity. Simply tell us why you or the person you choose is a deserving winner.

To enter just click below and enter your details

*Ts & Cs apply
Entries close 30th March 2022

We look forward to choosing a winner!

Our Director of Studies Cheryl Cordier has written a blog about the reason this is close to our hearts and how the hospitality industry is often made out to be a man’s world!

Have a read of her blog here: https://www.internationalculinarystudio.com/womans-day-2022/

Types of Catering Operations


Catering Operations – So Many Options!

When thinking of chefs, traditional restaurants come to mind as their place of work, however there is a huge range of catering operations available to suit any culinary style. Here is an overview of some of the options available.

  1. Hotels – there are several different types of eating outlets in hotels that range from large corporate to small boutique hotels. Within the hotels they often offer banqueting, restaurants, fast food outlets and in-room dining services.
  2. Restaurants and Cafes – these can range in style of service, ambience, theme, menu style and seating capacity.
  3. Hospitals and Care Homes – these catering operations cater for special diets and often to large quantities of people.
  4. Industrial and Corporate Catering – usually large numbers catered for where costing is extremely important, and they usually follow a menu cycle which is run seasonally.
  5. School and University Meals- usually large numbers catered for where costing is extremely important, and they usually follow a menu cycle which is run seasonally.
  6. Event Catering- any number of guests, usually special occasions such as weddings or product launches – catering budget is often determined by the customer.
  7. Military and Correctional Service Catering – usually large numbers catered for where costing is extremely important, and they usually follow a menu cycle which is run seasonally. Whether in the field or in a mess hall, there is no compromise on standards or quality.
  8. Airline Catering – a range of different menus determined by the length of flights as well as the class of passenger. First Class passengers have gourmet meals and menus designed by corporate chefs. These meals are prepared ensuring the ability to reheat safely and with specific flavour profiles to ensure they taste good at different altitudes.
  9. Yacht Catering – specialist catering working in very small galley kitchens with often limited availability of products and high-profile clients who require excellent standards of food.
  10. Cruise Ship Catering – large scale buffet style catering for many days with all food carried on board.


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