Serious about becoming a world-class chef? Our International Diploma in Culinary Arts is the perfect recipe for success. Learn the latest culinary skills from Olympic chefs and secure an internship in a Michelin-star or award-winning restaurant – either in New Zealand or Spain! This revolutionary programme will set you apart and can launch your career not just here, but anywhere in the world.
Who can enrol?
If you are 18 years or older and aspiring to become a senior chef, this is the ideal qualification. You’ll need an IELTS score of 5.5, with no band lower than 5.0.
What will I learn?
Through hands-on training in our high-end commercial and science kitchens, you’ll gain the culinary skills you need to make it to the top in this industry. Learn from award-winning chefs and create innovative international dishes that will set you apart in any kitchen.
You will cover:
Advanced preparation, cookery and presentation of pastry and larder dishes
Advanced planning and production of meat, poultry and fish dishes
Advanced dishes and menus for events, functions and commercial kitchens
Management of operating procedures, compliance requirements and staff relationships
12-week internship at a top restaurant
What qualifications will I gain?
New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5)
Where will this take me?
This qualification can take you to the top! You’ll have the skills to create advanced dishes in any professional kitchen – and the industry experience to back it up. This is the golden ticket to your dream job as a senior chef in New Zealand or overseas.
Never before in history has food been such a big deal. What was once merely fuel to power our bodies, is now a multi-billion-dollar industry. This global foodie frenzy means one thing - training in culinary arts is a very smart move. There’s a huge shortage of qualified chefs in New Zealand – in fact it’s on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list.
By 2025 visitor numbers to New Zealand will be close to 5 million, and thousands more chefs will be needed. They’ll be needed in restaurants and hotels, cafes, bars, and catering companies. They’ll be needed in fast food joints, hospitals, retirement homes, schools, and government buildings. For chefs with talent, passion, and a qualification, the options are vast.
What makes a great chef?
As well as having an aptitude for cooking and a flair for food presentation, successful chefs need a wide range of other skills. During meal service kitchens can be frantic, so the ability to stay calm under pressure, and work quickly is crucial. The hours are long and often include evenings and weekends, so flexibility and stamina are prerequisites. Sound knowledge of everything from food safety to nutrition is a must, and chefs need to be able to work well as a team.
There are several other professional skills and personal attributes that will help set chefs on the path to promotion, including:
knowledge of budgeting and stock management
ability to price and plan menus
leadership skills and ability to train and supervise staff
efficient record keeping
keeping ahead of the latest developments in nutrition, food technology and cooking techniques
be reliable, adaptable and highly-organised
be strong and fit
excellent communication skills
This is a high-demand sector with lots of exciting job opportunities, so once qualified, the chances of getting a good job are excellent. Start off as a commis chef. You’ll earn between minimum wage and $18 an hour and work across all areas of the kitchen, preparing and cooking food and sometimes washing dishes and cleaning. Work your way up, and your salary and areas of responsibility will increase accordingly.
Chefs de partie usually earn $18 - $20 an hour and are in charge of one section of the kitchen. They train and supervise staff, plan menus and order food. Sous chefs are second-in-charge of the kitchen, and earn $18 - $25 an hour, while head chefs (or executive chefs) are responsible for the entire kitchen and could earn anything from $22 - $49 per hour.
While many chefs master their craft in restaurants, cafes and hotels, there are plenty of other workplaces that require the skills of a culinary arts professional, such as:
bars and taverns
corporate catering firms
airport catering companies
fast food outlets
Or branch out into other food related areas - start your own business, become a food product developer or an artisan food producer.
The tourism and hospitality sector is currently New Zealand’s second largest export earner. Overseas visitor numbers have doubled every decade since 1970, topping 3.7 million in the year ending January 2018. And that number looks set to keep rising. Tourism spending is forecast to grow to 15.3 billion in 2023, and visitor numbers will rise by 39%. Each one of those visitors will need tourism staff, hospitality professionals and chefs to cater to their needs.
Here's a profile and video of our awesome General Manager Jasbir
She’s an innovative, charismatic, human dynamo - and she’s breaking new ground and changing lives every day. Ignite Colleges’ General Manager, Jasbir Kaur, is well-known and highly regarded in the education, hospitality and cookery sectors both here and overseas. She has previously opened two cookery schools and was campus manager for one of New Zealand’s biggest culinary training providers. After ten years working as an executive chef in the US, Indian-born Jasbir moved to New Zealand in 2009. Since then she has hosted radio shows, presented TV cooking programmes, and been a regular judge at New Zealand’s top national culinary arts competitions. Prior to joining Ignite in 2017, Jasbir was working as a chef at one of the world’s top restaurants, the Michelin-starred Disfrutar, in Barcelona. Her ability to inspire those around her, combined with her passion for culinary arts, will ensure Ignite Colleges blazes a trail in tertiary training.
“At Ignite Colleges we pride ourselves on preparing people for successful careers in high demand industries. Our newest offering – and one that’s very dear to my heart – is culinary arts. Our unique programmes inject real flair into culinary arts training in New Zealand. Students can even complete cookery internships at a Michelin restaurant in Spain as part of their course! I want to help New Zealand become more of a culinary destination, by training chefs who will push boundaries and make their mark globally. By taking up the reins at Ignite Colleges, I have the opportunity to do exactly that, in the very heart of Manukau.”
Love food? Whip up a new career at Ignite Colleges’ recently-opened cookery school. Learn from top chefs in brand-new commercial kitchens, gain skills the cookery industry urgently needs, and build real industry experience with an internship.
Already a whiz in the kitchen? Turn your talent into a career with our Level 4 culinary arts programme. Gain hands-on training in our state-of-the-art commercial kitchens and learn innovative culinary skills from top chefs. Plus, you’ll graduate with real work experience thanks to our unique internship programme.