Celebrity chef Ross Burden officially opened New Zealand Management Academies' new cookery school in Panmure on January 17.
The opening drew a large crowd, with locals from the community keen to check out the new training facilities. This is the first time NZMA has had a campus in East Auckland and the provider is excited about offering qualifications and career opportunities to the area.
NZMA has been a leader in hospitality training for a long time, however this is the organisation's first foray into cookery. During his speech and cutting of the ribbon, Burden - a self-taught cook, winner of BBC's MasterChef and regular face on Britain's Ready, Steady, Cook - said there was a huge shortage of chefs nationwide and NZMA's new cookery programmes were much needed by the industry.
As well as the benefits to the hospitality sector, there were huge advantages for the community.
"NZMA provides great employment support, through their recruitment arm, NZMA Employment. The students who study here not only get excellent training, but they have a future to look forward to," he said.
Since winning the BBC's MasterChef title two decades ago, Burden has made a name for himself in the hospitality industry all around the world. He has filmed a healthy-eating video with Joan Collins, set up his own catering company and appeared in numerous television programmes. He has regularly held cookery demonstrations at famous cookery schools such as Villa Valentina and Nairn's Cook School.
The official opening of NZMA's new campus started with a Maori blessing led by Eriata Peri and also included live cookery demonstrations from NZMA tutors Brett Adlam and Aldo Franckin. Visitors included media, Panmure Business Association representatives and the local community. They were given guided tours of the upmarket training facility and were treated to mocktails, iced coffees and a barbecue. The Edge radio station was also on hand dishing out goodies. A treasure hunt competition was won by Quentin Rapana, who took away a Samsung Galaxy Mini.
NZMA’s Joint CEO, Tim Cullinane, welcomed everyone and said that NZMA is keen to be a strong, contributing member of the local East Auckland community.
“Our goal is to develop graduates who are greatly sought after by Industry because they are highly skilled, motivated and capable of producing what Industry is looking for”, he said.
Panmure Campus Principal Leanda Bekker said the event was a huge success.
"It was a really exciting day. We are delighted to be offering cookery and hospitality to the East Auckland area and are looking forward to helping upskill our local communities and offering some new career and employment opportunities to them," she said.
Courses at the new campus start next month. The unique qualifications include Level 3 and 4 certificates and a two-year Level 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery, in which students can specialise in either patisserie or gastronomy. The diploma also includes a 600 hour internship which will give graduates a point of difference - they will leave NZMA not only with an NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) accredited qualification and extensive cookery knowledge, but also with significant and relevant industry experience.
In addition to the cookery training, Level 3 and 4 certificates and a National Diploma in Hospitality Management (which also includes an internship) will be offered.
Pictured here is Ross Burden with NZMA hospitality students Yoyo Yang(left) and Kelli Phillips.