Flash back to 1995

Celia Hay had just opened the New Zealand School of Food & Wine (NZSFW) above her restaurant, Hay's in Victoria Street, Christchurch. Twenty-five years later, the NZSFW continues to flourish in Auckland’s Viaduct, with a history that aptly reflects the transformation of New Zealand’s own hospitality, wine and tourism sectors during this time.

With over 20,000 students through its doors, the NZSFW is a leading New Zealand hospitality institution. It's success is built on the quality of programmes that it presents and in 2020, it remains a respected institution, valued by employers and its diverse student body.

‘My goal, from those very early years, was to develop better courses and qualifications that not only met the changing demands of employers, but would also inspire young people to become more curious about our world. Sensing and identifying aromas, discovering new ingredients, mastering cookery techniques, learning to taste and savour fine food and unravelling the customer service experience,' says Celia Hay.

Above all, I wanted to encourage people to keep going and climb the career ladder as baristas, chefs, general managers, sommeliers and also as entrepreneurs, setting up their own businesses,' says Celia.

"I felt then, as I still do today, that we needed to bring more professionalism to the sector so that people have a better understanding of what and why they were doing these tasks or performing in a certain way.’

Lack of appropriate teaching resources for the NZQA qualifications, led Celia to write the textbook, How to Grow Your Hospitality Business, a guide for owners and managers in 2000 and this is now in its 3rd edition. The New Zealand Wine Guide (2014) was written by Celia to provide a comprehensive textbook to explain the New Zealand’s wine sector in a clear and visually-compelling context, with stunning photography by winemaker, Kevin Judd. This edition was chosen as the ‘Best in the World for Wine and Tourism’ by the Gourmand World Book Awards.

The launch of the New Zealand Wine Guide 2nd edition this will be held on Wednesday, 01 April from 6 - 8 pm, at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, Viaduct, Auckland. 

This 25th anniversary year will also see the New Zealand School of Food and Wine deliver a brand new NZQA-accredited micro-credential. This will help to transform understanding about New Zealand wines and provide a unique opportunity for restaurant, winery cellar door, wine sales and marketing staff, as well as wine-lovers, to learn and benefit from increased knowledge of New Zealand wines.

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine will celebrate its 25th Anniversary over the weekend of 14 and 15 March when past students will join Celia Hay for a series of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, gala dinner and Pet Nat Masterclass.