Hospitality & Cookery
NMIT’s Hospitality & Cookery programmes offer you training that directly relates to employment within these industries. We respond to national and international training needs in the development of the programmes on offer and our programmes emphasise applied learning focusing on delivering service to customers or clients.
Our staff have excellent backgrounds in professional roles within industry to ensure current and relevant training. Training is available if you are wishing to enter industry, or if you are already working and want to up skill or further your career.
The NMIT cookery programmes offer excellent industry placements in addition to concentrated study at NMIT and practical experience in NMIT’s training restaurant The Rata Room. Students can train full time or part time to complete national qualifications as well as internationally recognised qualifications in cookery.
NMIT is the exclusive Academia Barilla Centre for New Zealand where students can study Academia Barilla’s ‘Fundamentals of Italian Regional Gastronomy’.
Select a programme from below and then click 'Apply Now' or find out more about NMIT's Hospitality short courses here.
Programmes and Courses
Hospitality & Cookery Tutors
Phillip Reay, Senior Tutor
Dip Teaching, Dip Business, Hospitality and Wellbeing Senior Tutor
As one of NMIT’s longest serving tutors, Phillip is well known around campus and the hospitality industry in general.
As well as tutoring at NMIT, with his wife Jane, Phillip runs Horder Reay Consultancy, providing hospitality training and consulting throughout New Zealand.
Before joining NMIT in the late 1980s, Phillip forged a successful international career in hospitality managing restaurants in Asia, Australia and the UK where he was managing for the legendary Langan’s Restaurants in London. Back in New Zealand he helped set up Saffron Restaurant in Central Otago.
Robyn Hulme, Restaurant, Wine and Bar Programme Tutor
Manager or NMIT Restaurant The Rata Room
Robyn Hulme believes the key to providing good service is having the right attitude and always striving for excellence. Hard work and attention to detail are also important. These are philosophies she has held throughout her successful 30-year career in the hospitality sector and ones she now shares with her students.
Born and raised in Nelson, Robyn started her hospitality career in 1976 at Queenstown’s iconic Skyline Restaurant. She trained in a la carte and silver service dining and went on to work in Australia in the hospitality and service industries including the Australian Hotel Association in Sydney.
After returning to Nelson in the late 1980s, she worked in fine dining at Appleman’s Restaurant and later as restaurant manager at the Boat Shed Cafe where she won a Taste Nelson Service Award for Excellence in front-of-house service.
Along with extensive industry experience, her qualifications include a Certificate in Adult Teaching and a Certificate in Hospitality from NMIT. She is also a Liquor Licencing Advisory Group and Hotel Association of New Zealand member and hospitality industry awards.
Bill James, Professional Cookery Tutor
Being a professional chef has taken Bill around the globe working in some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and resorts alongside top international chefs, including famous foodie Rick Stein.
Bill’s cooking career started at 16 when he left school to study the Professional Chefs Course at Norwich City College, England.
“I studied during the day and worked part-time in the evenings as salad chef at The Station Hotel to pay for my rent. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.”
On graduating as a professional cook two years’ later Bill earned a job as a commis chef at the five-star Savoy Hotel on The Strand in London, an experience he describes as “boot camp”.
Four years later he moved to Germany to work at the Park Hotel Adler - a luxury boutique hotel and health resort near the Black Forest region. In 1992, he came to New Zealand on a work visa as sous chef at The Hermitage Hotel in Mt Cook. The next decade was spent working between New Zealand and England in high end hotels and restaurants. In 2003 Bill went to sea as head chef aboard the Polar Pioneer - a tourist expedition ship travelling to the Artic, Antarctic, Amazon and Greenland.
It was while working for Rick Stein’s Seafood School in Padstow, England, in 2007, he discovered a passion for teaching. Three years later he moved to Nelson with his wife, started a family and in 2012 joined the hospitality team at NMIT.
James Perry, Cookery Tutor
Certificate in Cookery, City & Guilds
From the Savoy Hotel Restaurant in London, the QE2 cruise liner and one of France’s top three star Michelin restaurants, NMIT’s cookery tutor James Perry has some top class experience to pass on to his students.
Born in Bermuda, James has 20 years in the chefing trade, working his way up to Head Chef for three star restaurants and also owning his own restaurant.
“I’ve worked in five star restaurants in Germany, Russia, London, France, Switzerland and top restaurants here in New Zealand but now it’s fantastic to be able to have the time to pass on skills to a new generation of chefs. When you’re working in these professional environments you don’t have time to really teach the juniors so to be able to teach at NMIT is a real thrill for me,” says James.
Like his NMIT students, he started by studying for a basic cookery qualification including the City & Guilds in Bermuda, similar to that offered by NMIT, and then went on to do his apprenticeship in Germany.
James then moved to a job as a Chef de Partie on the famous QE2 cruise liner for a year as part of a kitchen brigade of 110 chefs working seven days a week.
He then moved to Berlin working at a five star hotel and while he was there was sent to Moscow to open the first five star Kempinski hotel restaurant to open in Russia.
James says some of his best learning was done at the Savoy Hotel in London where he worked under well known chef Anton Adelmann.
“It was the most disciplined kitchen I’ve worked in. Only French was spoken and there were 100 chefs. You were expected to give everything. It was an incredibly high pressure environment.”
Jobs at more Michelin star restaurants around the world followed - at the Dolder Grant in Zurich, then at the three Michelin star George Blanc in Southern France.
And finally another stint on a Cunard line ship Sea Goddess, before he decided to come to work in New Zealand.
“I’d been here as part of the travelling on the QE2 and I fell in love with the country and I was determined to get back here, so I arrived and I got a job as Sous Chef at Huka Lodge. That was the most fun you could have being a chef, apart from teaching.”
James then returned with his wife to Bermuda for a few years to open up his own restaurant before they got homesick for New Zealand and returned for a job as Head Chef at Awaroa Lodge.
Hospitality & Cookery Graduates
Andrew Lee, Certificate in Professional Restaurant, Wine and Bar Service
When Andrew Lee locks the doors at the end of a busy night at the Sprig and Fern bar in Milton Street, he’s thankful to have a career he loves so much. “I can’t wait to go to work. I love all the aspects of my job as Duty Manager but I especially love interacting with the customers. The best part of the job is the people you meet."
Andrew achieved his Professional Restaurant, Wine and Bar qualification through Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and he says he wouldn’t be where he is without them. “The tutors and their knowledge were awesome. I learnt so much and they were able to teach us with lots of fun but still serious at the same time.” And it was due to his tutors knowing him so well, that he says they got him work experience in the right place. “I’m more of a casual, boutique bar kind of person rather than fine dining, so my tutor was the one who organised work experience at Sprig and Fern for me and that’s how I ended with the great job I have now and have been in for a year.”
Andrew’s passion for a hospitality job started at Nelson College, where he did a food and hospitality course. It was then he realised he enjoyed the service part of hospitality and enrolled for the NMIT Certificate. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else, as I knew from previous graduates how good the course was. The facilities are also new and the topics they taught really ticked all the boxes of things I wanted to learn about – such as cocktail making and wine knowledge to name a few. ” He says the course gave him confidence, a vital tool when dealing with the public.
Employers, such as the Mussel Inn in Golden Bay, where he worked for a summer, welcomed the NMIT qualification. “I’d really recommend the course. I’d have been lost if I’d gone straight to working in a bar without the qualification. There are so many different skills and so much knowledge you need.” Andrew proved his passion by earning the Kaimira Estate award for being top of the class, when he graduated.
At the age of 20 Andrew is already thinking about his future. “I’d really love to be able to own my own backpacker bar.” But until then he relishes every day, because of the people factor. “You have good old chats at the bar and you end up really caring for them, almost like a relationship kind of thing. No two people and no two days are ever the same, it’s great.”
Nick Dellabosca, Certificate in Professional Cookery
Nik Dellabosca had to travel to the other side of the planet before he discovered his passion for cooking. “It was the first job I’d done where I wasn’t watching the clock and waiting to go home. I just love working with food.”
Nik grew up in Murchison and went to Nelson College before he tried his hand as a plasterer. But it wasn’t until he did his big OE trip that he found his true career path. “I was in Scotland and needed a job. I went from bar work to kitchen hand and worked my way up. I found that being in a busy kitchen is a really exciting place to work.”
When Nik returned to Nelson he went straight into a cooking job at a city restaurant, but he decided he wanted to hone his skills and get a qualification. Nik enrolled on NMIT’s Certificate in Professional Cookery. “It was a drawcard to get a qualification. It really helps you get a job in this industry. It means an employer can trust you have the basic knowledge and they don’t have to start from scratch.”
Nik says the course was great. “Fantastic new facilities and even a blast chiller, it was an amazing kitchen to learn in.” He says the tutors were great too. “The course introduced me to a lot of different cooking styles I hadn’t done before as well as giving me a lot of useful organisational skills.”
Now that he’s graduated Nik works in two places – MINT fine dining restaurant at night and Stoneridge Café in the daytime. “I like the classic French style of cooking we do at MINT, where it’s real attention to detail.” Nik is in charge of starters and desserts and also helps the owner/chef prepare. He enjoys the variety that chefing offers. “It’s a good mix of café food and then fine dining. There’s always something different to do.” Nik says it’s not an easy profession to work in as there are unsociable hours and it can be challenging. “But I’m up for a challenge. I like that about the job. It’s also very creative.”
Nik says the certificate taught him some very practical skills. “One of the things which helped me the most has been learning to cook more than one thing at a time. In the practical sessions we’d have two or three things to cook in a short period and that really helped me learn to juggle lots of things.” With a qualification under his belt, Nik is keen to develop his skills to the point where one day he can own his own restaurant. “That’s a long-term goal for me. I love people loving my food. I get a buzz from the compliments from diners. It makes me feel great – that’s what I do it for.”
Southern Hospitality scholarship
To be considered eligible for a Southern Hospitality Scholarship you must be enrolled at an approved Polytechnic or Technical Insitute in New Zealand. You will have completed the first year of study and are intending to go on and complete a second year of study. 10 scholarships to the value of $2,000 are being available for second year students training in all areas of the hospitality industry.