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New Cookery School Blazes a Trail

New Cookery School Blazes a Trail

New Zealand’s newest and most innovative cookery school has just opened its doors in Manukau, giving aspiring master-chefs from South Auckland the chance to forge successful culinary careers in New Zealand and beyond.

Ignite Colleges’ School of Culinary Arts teaches Level 3 and 4 cookery programmes from its brand-new state-of-the-art training kitchens, which feature the latest modular equipment, sustainable food waste systems, and a high-tech lighting system that provides optimum lighting for a variety of situations - from cooking food to photographing it for Instagram! There is even a specially-designed science kitchen – the only one of its kind in New Zealand - where students will learn to create Heston Blumenthal-style dishes and conduct Harry Potter-type culinary experiments.

According to top chef and Ignite Colleges General Manager Jasbir Kaur, the facilities and the programmes on offer are unlike anything else available in the country.

“Our unique programmes are ground-breaking and will inject some real flair into culinary arts training in New Zealand,” she says.

Jasbir is highly regarded in the industry both here and overseas. She has opened two other cookery schools, worked as an executive chef in the US, hosted radio shows, presented TV cooking programmes and been a regular judge at top culinary arts competitions. Last year she worked at one of the world’s best restaurants, the Michelin-starred Disfrutar, and also represented New Zealand in the inaugural World Tapas Competition in Spain.

Her tireless passion for food and innovation has seen her bring together the very best ideas and techniques from around the globe to create a trailblazing culinary arts programme that will be the launchpad for New Zealand’s next generation of top chefs. As part of their studies, students will even have the chance to complete internships at top Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain – an opportunity that is not on offer at any other cookery school in the country.

Internships will range from three to nine months and are available at more than 20 one, two and three Michelin-starred restaurants around Spain, including renowned establishments Disfrutar, La Botica, Culler de Pau, La Solana, Annua, and Nacho Manzano.

“All the top chefs in the world today work at places like Disfrutar – and now Ignite Colleges cookery students will have an exclusive chance to learn from them.”

Around 1.5 million dollars have been invested to ensure facilities are first-class. Training is hands-on, classes are small, and students will gain real-world experience cooking at events and functions around the city.

For Jasbir it’s a lifelong dream finally coming to fruition.

“I want to help New Zealand become more of a culinary destination, by training chefs who will push boundaries, innovate and inspire. Now I have the opportunity to do exactly that, in the very heart of South Auckland,” she says.

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