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Budding chefs encouraged to enrol now

Media release from Otago Polytechnic

23 October 2008


Budding chefs encouraged to enrol now for popular course

A special course aimed squarely at Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes Districts’ budding chefs is being offered by Otago Polytechnic.

The course specifically targets those who want to earn and learn and would be perfect for many of the region’s kitchen workers according to Peter Schorer, Central Otago Polytechnic Hospitality Programme Director.

The Certificate in Professional Cookery (Level 4) is a worldwide recognised qualification and students of this course can also sit the City & Guilds Diploma in Culinary Arts next November – a prestigious, global qualification.

The part-time Cromwell-based course will be presented by Debbie Crompton, a highly experienced and award-winning chef in her own right who says it provides an excellent opportunity for chefs to gain full trade qualifications while still being able to work in the industry.

“It’s specifically designed for earning and learning because we know that most students are already working in kitchens and we want to meet their training needs.  We’ve scheduled one day a week at the Poly then the three short blocks for off-peak times - four weeks in May and July/August and two weeks in September - when they have a bit more downtime.  For those who are juggling commitments there’s also the option of completing the theory component in their own time.

“We find that companies sometimes offer our course as a career development incentive for their employees.  They agree to pay some of the course fees in order to benefit from the upskilling.”

Students may also get the opportunity to compete at the Nestlé Toque d’Or, New Zealand’s most prestigious student culinary and restaurant service competition.  Three Central Otago Polytechnic students won double gold earlier this year for their outstanding culinary skills and restaurant service.

Mr Schorer says that being able to offer an industry professional of Debbie Crompton’s calibre as a teacher is a big drawcard.

“Debbie has been cited as one of New Zealand’s most talented female chefs and has won numerous awards.  Her career has taken her around the world so she has an extensive knowledge of different food styles and cultures.   


“In Queenstown, she’s been Executive Chef at Millbrook Resort, Rex Morgan’s Chef de Cuisine at The Spire Luxury Hotel, Consultant Chef to Kinloch Lodge and Restaurant, and Head Chef at Punatapu Lodge, where she has taught at “Ki Tao” Cooking School.”

Students can enrol now for 1 December start date by contacting the Central Otago Polytechnic on 0800 765 9276.  Applications close 5pm, Friday 21 November.  The course pre-requisite is Level 3 Professional Cookery or an equivalent industry background which would be on a par with a Chef de Partie who has approximately three years experience.

The course is Government subsidised for domestic students and costs $5,500.

For more information please visit



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