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Welcome to Spring – a chance to take a picnic to the park and sit amongst the blossom and daffodils and the next day rug up against the pelting southerly rain! Spring being the season for new beginnings, we launch our exciting new website. We get some sound business tips from our Director of Studies, Ingrid shares her mum’s Swiss Roll recipe and we catch up with one of our NZQA students, Sam. Chef Andy shares some secrets to cook like a pro and we learn about the rather under rated Bay leaf.

Ingrid’s Mom’s Swiss Roll

My mother was the kindest, most wonderful woman I know, and she loved being in her kitchen. I was one of 6 children so you can imagine what a mealtime was like in our home.

She loved to bake for us too and there were always gorgeous smells that came out of her kitchen.

I particularly loved my mother’s Strawberry and Cream Swiss Roll. It is easy to make and never disappoints and is my go-to when I need to bake something in a hurry.




Pre-heat the oven to 180 Degrees C

Butter a baking tray and line with grease proof paper (the butter is only to ensure that the paper stays put in the tray)

  • 4 eggs
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • lemon zest (1 lemon) or vanilla essence (1 tsp).



  • Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until stiff.  Set aside
  • Mix the egg yokes and 125g sugar until fluffy
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  • Add the lemon zest or vanilla essence (whichever you have) to the egg yoke and sugar mix.
  • Add all the dry ingredients and the whisked egg whites on top of the egg and sugar mix and FOLD them together by hand (do not use a mixer here).  Ensure that you don’t over mix and get as much air into the mix as you can hence the importance of folding the mixture by hand.
  • Transfer the mixture to the lined baking tray, ensuring it is evenly spread out.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Make sure that you don’t over bake because if you do, when you roll the swiss roll the cake will crack.
  • Whilst the cake is baking lay another piece of grease proof paper on the counter top and sprinkle with castor sugar.
  • When the cake is finished baking remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the sugar coated paper.  Carefully but swiftly remove the original baking paper off the back of the cake and when removed, roll up the cake and allow to cool.



Whisk a punnet of cream with 2 tbsp of castor sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence (this can vary depending on how sweet you like the cream).

Cut the strawberries into slices.

When the rolled up Swiss Roll is cool, carefully unroll it and fill with a good layer of cream, evenly spread the strawberries and then carefully roll it up again and dust with icing sugar.

You can vary the fillings,  I have used many different fruits in the Swiss Roll and another great one is canned sliced peaches.

Cut and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

It really is delicious.

Thank you mom xx


Cheryl Nesbitt – ICS Founder and Director of Studies

1. What advice of success would you give to your younger self?
Probably that everything takes longer than you think it will and you need to allow for that. That it’s easy to sell someone else’s product if you believe in it, but harder to sell your own even when you believe in it, so get a good sales person and train them well and let them sell your products from early on. Having said that you are the best ambassador for your own product so live the brand. Take more time to think and plan and make time to not get burnt out.

2. What strategies/ rituals / habits do you install to keep you motivated and on top of your game?
I try to attend as many conferences around a range of subjects that support the growth of my business annually and see this as a training and innovation cost.
Belong to one or more relevant network groups and attend regular meetings. Keep in contact with people who are in the know and who also keep ahead of industry trends and education trends.

Keep a business coach and mentor and chat to them at least every second week and more often if the need arises. My mentor has no vested interest in the success of my business so is very good at helping me focus and stay on top of important items to remain strategic and not operational. On a personal note I try to stay healthy by having multi vitamins and regular yoga and personal training classes. I try to eat well and plan to include activities which include my children, my partner and time for myself – I do not always get this right but know when my diary includes all these in, my life runs smoothly and I can get more done at work with no guilt.

3. Who or what motivates you?
It used to be financial stability, we grew up in a fairly poor home, my dad was an entrepreneur and was always trying new things, so money was always tight, but as I have grown older it’s more about making a difference in people’s lives – for both employees and students. Past employees and students have gone on to start their own businesses or are making a difference in their world which motivates me to keep at it.

4. Is there a childhood memory or story that played a part in who you are today?

My dad and mom always said I was entering into a man’s world (the hospitality industry) and so I would have to work harder than anyone else to succeed so I did. At the age of 5 I baked my first cake and started school, both of them became my dream, teaching culinary.

5. What message do you want to give to people to inspire them to achieve success?

My message would be to surround yourself with positive people and people who believe in you. When the going gets tough they can remind you of your dreams. You do not have to invent or develop something new – just do something better than everyone else. Customer service is the key to success especially now in the online space. Work out how to be the best at Customer Service. Focus on a small target market, you cannot get everyone to buy from you, you just need the people/organisations that will benefit from your product or service to buy from you. Stay true to your integrity and never compromise even if it affects an outcome. Businesses based on integrity succeed against the odds. You will work harder than you ever dreamt you would, but the rewards are worth it!


Recognition of Prior Learning


Student Profile – Sam Burgess

Sam has a love of cooking and prior to beginning her study, owned a café and often helped in the kitchen. Wanting to increase her culinary skills, but apprehensive about studying as a mature student, it was important for her to find the right fit.

Sam enrolled to study the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 with our February 2020 intake. She has been a focused and organized student fitting her studies around her busy life. Her practical submissions have all been of a high standard – included here is an example of her Ice cream.

At our final exams in Christchurch recently, Sam received a distinction pass for the theory and passed her practical exam.
Sam has just begun her New Zealand Diploma in Cookery Level 5 and looks forward to using her skills in a commercial environment. She is sure, having these qualifications will help open more doors for her as well as building on and formalizing the skills she currently has.


Website Launch

YES it’s finally here!! We are so excited to share our brand new website with you. Complete with a fresh new look we’re sure you’ll find it easy to navigate – go take a look!



Here’s A Few Top Tips From Chef Andy


Always let steak sit/rest before cutting/slicing into it:

Even a well-done steak should never taste dry. To prevent a steak from losing its juicy interior, place it directly on top of aluminium foil after taking it off the stove or grill. Carefully wrap the steak in the foil and let it sit for approximately five minutes. This allows the juices to settle before you cut into the meat. The meat will continue to cook while it is in the foil so if you prefer medium steak, you should take it off when it’s medium rare.

Always keep a few essentials on hand in the pantry and the freezer:

We’ve all been there. You open the fridge and stare, thinking there’s nothing to prepare or to eat, so you order the easy option of fast food “take-out” and call it a night. Rather, stock up on your next grocery store trip with a few ingredients, like various protein items such as chicken breast, hamburger meat, salmon, prawns and some good quality frozen vegetables etc. It is easier to get creative with what you have in the fridge/freezer once stocked and with the right ingredients at hand.

Chop herbs with salt

To prevent herbs from flying all over the place when chopping, sprinkle a bit of salt onto the board. This will keep them in place.

Are You The Lucky One?

Are you the lucky one Kenwood

Enrol in our New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4, 28th September intake and go in the draw to win this Kenwood XL Mixer.
To be eligible you must have fully completed the enrolment process and been issued with your offer of place by the 24th September. The lucky winner will be announced on the 28th

*Terms & conditions apply: All standard terms & conditions apply. Please refer to our website: internationalculinarystudio.com

Good luck!

Beneficial Bay Leaves

Many people add bay leaves to foods especially jollof rice(Nigerian), red meat and poultry, but do you know why bay leaves are added to food?

When asked why, some reply: to add flavour to the food.

Do you know that If you boil some bay leaves in a glass of water and taste it, it will sometimes have little or no flavour?

Now why do you put bay leaves in the meat?

The addition of bay leaves to meat converts triglycerides to monounsaturated fats.

For experimentation and confirmation:

Cut the chicken in half and cook each half in a pan and place on one bay leaf, and the other without bay leaf and observe the amount of fat in both pans.

If you have bay leaves, there is no need for a pharmacy. Recent scientific studies have shown that bay leaves have many benefits & helps to get rid of many serious health problems and illnesses.

The benefits of bay leaf are: –

*Bay leaf treats digestive disorders and helps eliminate lumps, heartburn, acidity & constipation.

*It helps regulate bowel movement by drinking hot bay tea.

*It lowers blood sugar and bay leaf is also an antioxidant.

*It allows the body to produce insulin by eating it or drinking bay tea for a month.

*It eliminates bad cholesterol and relieves the body of triglycerides.

*It’s very useful in treating colds, flu and severe cough as it is a rich source of vitamin “C”, you can boil the leaves and inhale steam to get rid of phlegm and reduce the severity of cough.

*Bay leaf protects the heart from seizures and strokes as it contains cardiovascular protective compounds.

*It’s rich in acids such as caffeic acid, quercetin, eugenol and bartolinide, substances that prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body.

*It eliminates insomnia and anxiety, if taken before bed, helps you relax and sleep peacefully.

Drinking a cup of boiled bay leaves twice a day breaks kidney stones and cures infections …

Just like garlic and ginger are a must find amongst my collection of spices, Bay leaves are a must see in my collection of spices to (my little spice secrets to good aroma and flavour)

Chef Paul