Take your first steps towards becoming a professional chef in a region renowned for its food and artisan producers.

It’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of the local food scene and be a part of building the future industry in Te Tauihu (Top of the South). Learn from our experienced tutors who have worked in many diverse roles, gaining culinary knowledge from all over the world in order to deliver you the most up-to-date industry skills and knowledge.

Aspiring chefs and hospitality staff get to put their learning into action in our on-site cafe, restaurant and bar, Rata Room, which is open to the public for lunch and dinner once a week. By the time you graduate from the Trainee Chef course, you’ll have plenty of experience under your belt and be confident to walk into a job as a qualified chef.

The programme is designed to be immersive, realistic and fun with the sole purpose of readying you for real work in the real world. You’ll benefit from NMIT’s strong relationships with local businesses and hospitality experts - from restaurants and cafes to global food producers and world-class chefs.

Many of our students are offered part-time work while studying and our graduates have an excellent reputation in the hospitality industry.

The Nelson region has many artisan producers and is known for its seafood, fresh produce, craft beer, cider and wine, so you’ll be working with some of the finest local ingredients and learning from the industry leaders who make them.

In addition to the Trainee Chef programme, NMIT offers a range of short courses, including the popular Bar Manager’s Course, Food Safety Practices, and Artisan Cheesemaking.

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