Cooking Classes/Food Tours
Are you keen to cook your way around the country or taste your way through town? If so, check out the following list of cooking classes, cooking demonstrations and food tours in New Zealand. If you know of a great culinary experience we can add contact us. Thanks to Kia Ora magazine for the inspiration. (All listings updated April 2013)
Review websites are a useful tool that provide feedback to business owners and operators as well as to people looking to book a culinary experience. Rankers (NZ owned and operated) and Trip Advisor are two review websites you may find useful.
If food and drink related festivals are your cup of tea see Food, Wine and Beer Festivals, a full festival list is here.
What's New? Bohemein Chocolates, Wellington; Kako Chocolate School, Auckland; Chillingworth Road, Christchurch; Kaipatiki Project, Auckland; Little Cooks, Auckland; The Kitchen, Dunedin; Food Garden, Tauranga; Judith Cullen Cooks & Travels, Dunedin; The Lakeview House, Taupo; The Cookhouse, Rangiora; Grass Hopper Modern Thai Cuisine and Indian Cooking Classes, Auckland; Cathie's Cuisine and Farmhouse Kitchen, Hastings; A Culinary Experience B&B, Nelson;
Create fresh pasta; pizza, focaccia and Italian style bread; biscotti and savoury dishes at Villa Romantica on Auckland's North Shore. Classes are led by Raffaela Delmonte.
Altura run a 2.5 hour Coffee Appreciation Course that includes coffee roasting, espresso techniques, milk texturing, and equipment care and maintenance, from $95. The course takes place at the roastery in Albany on Wednesdays from 5.30pm - 8pm.
Auckland Seafood School
Located above Auckland Fish Market, the Auckland Seafood School is all about seafood education. Classes include Moroccan Seafood, Seafood and Spices, Flavours of Bali and Mexican Seafood. All classes start with a demonstration by a professional chef and then it's your turn in the kitchen. Enjoy your own creation with a glass of wine. Classes from $80 (minimum age 14). Behind The Scenes tours of the market are offered on Tuesday, $25 (minimum 10, bookings essential and must be made Monday-Friday during business hours, phone 09 379 1497).
Book a private cupcake class for a group of friends or attend one of the two hour classes. Get hints and tips for baking cupcakes and after some practice, decorate four cupcakes to take home. Classes from $55 pp.
Espresso Coffee School
If you own a coffee machine and would like to make great coffee to accompany your home baking then check out In home espresso tuition. A two day Professional Barista Course is offered for aspiring baristas, from $475.
Farro Fresh is a fresh food market specialising in NZ made and grown products. Farro Fresh is at 80 Lunn Avenue, Mt Wellington; 70 Parkway Drive, Mairangi Bay and 34 Westmoreland Street, Grey Lynn. Free monthly Demo Kitchens are held, see What's On.
Finding Flavour Discovery Tours for Foodies
A Mt Eden Village Foodie Walking Tour, World in a Day (various locations) and an Eritrean Lunch and Coffee Ceremony are some of the tours offered by Finding Flavour, from $75pp.
Fine Wine & Food Tours
Wine is a focus for these tours however the Food & Wine Lovers Tour also visits Sanford's Seafood Market, Puhoi Cheese factory and the Honey Centre. From $275pp.
Grass Hopper Modern Thai Cuisine
Learn how to cook Tom Yum Goong, and Traditional Pad Thai Noodles at the two hour beginners class. The intermediate class teaches you to cook a Panang Curry, and a dessert of Sago with Coconut Milk and water chestnut. Classes are held on the last Saturday of the month, or at other times for groups of four or more. New
Indian Cooking Classes
At the hands on Indian Cooking Classes there's a maximum class size of 12. Classes run for 2-3 hours on weekends and cater for the beginner or advanced Indian cook. Vegie Heaven and Indian Finger Food are two of the options.
Julie Biuso - A Feast for the Senses
Contact Julie for cooking class information. (The last classes will be held in December 2013 as Julie is intending to move house - visit the website for updates in 2014).
Nana Technologies: Pantry Power - learn the skills of our nanas. Take a relish or bread making class; learn to preserve lemons and make limoncella. There's also classes on how to make your own homemade cleaning products. Some courses are free, others from from $20. New
Kako Chocolate School
Weekend chocolate classes at Kako Chocolate School include An Introduction to Chocolate, Truffles, and Tempering Masterclass. From $125pp. New
Katherine Mowbray Craft Cheesemaker
Katherine Mowbray runs courses that include demonstrations and a general introduction to cheese making. The courses are run in Auckland and around the country. Course cost from $65pp. Cheese making equipment designed by Katherine can be purchased via her website and there is also information about where you can purchase starter cheese kits and cheese accessories. You may also be interested in Katherine's book - "Cutting the Curd - Cheese making at Home".
Cooking classes for kids - after school classes (Wednesday - Friday), for ages 5 - 12, $171. School holiday classes and themed workshops are held from time to time. The themed parties sound cool - kids can build a Lego feast, and have a Mad Hatters Tea Party. New
At Magical Cakes you can attend a Bird Cage Cake Workshop, learn to decorate cup cakes in vintage style, and make a gorgeous garden fairy. Classes from $50.
In 2.5 hours you can prepare dishes from India, Vietnam or Malaysia, $99. Fine Dining at Home is the most popular class and Chocolate Works, Cheesemaking and Bread Workshops are also offered. Complete Basic Skills classes are run for those who want to learn or relearn the basics of good home cooking (3 sessions, $295). KidzKitchen classes are offered for the kids in the family during school holidays, $49.
If you're interested in cake decorating the Wilton Cake Decorating courses could be for you. Milly's also run courses inSugarCraft, classes from $45.
Nici's Cooking School
Nici Wickes, host of World Kitchen runs Cooking For Confidence classes for kids and teenagers at Port Waikato.
Italian Do Your Own Dinner cooking classes, from $55.
Sabato host cooking classes with chefs and food editors like Michael Meredith and Ray McVinnie, as well as occasional basics classes to help home cooks perfect dishes like paella or risotto. Instore cooking demos occur on a regular basis, and Meet the Makers events are hosted where local artisans offer tastings of their products.
Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian cooking classes are held at Sachie's Kitchen.
Classes are hands on and run for approximately 2.5 hours, $89pp. Every Monday you can buy sushi from Sachie's between 11.30am and 1pm.
The Cook Book School & Kitchen
Cheesemaking, The Pig and Paella and Fresh Sri Lankan Cuisine are a few of the workshops offered at Cook the Books. Sign up for the newsletter if you'd like to be kept up to date with workshop information.
The Gourmet Gannet Culinary Workshops
Hands on workshops include Sausage Making,
Pizza & Mozarella Cheese Making and Pain au Chocolat/Croissant. See Gourmet Gannet on Facebook for additional information.
The New Zealand School of Food & Wine
The New Zealand School of Food & Wine is a boutique culinary school and offers NZQA approved qualifications like the Foundation Programme in Cookery & Hospitality and Professional Wine Knowledge. Part time classes include Barista, Cocktail and Mixology and NZSFW Certificate in Wine. (The school was previously located in Christchurch).
Zest Food Tours
The Urban Village Delights tour takes you on a gourmet walking tour of Ponsonby; the Auckland City Tastes tour takes you to the Britomart precinct and Viaduct Harbour. Both tours require a minimum of two, from $149pp. (Zest Food Tours are also available in Martinborough and Wellington).
Strawberry Sky Custom Cake Designs
Classes at Strawberry Sky include Flower Making; Creative Cupcakes, and Piping and Royal Icing (intermediate / advanced class), from $85pp.
Brenton Lodge run Chocolate Classes - learn the basic skills of chocolate and truffle making in a four hour course, $220pp. A Chocolate Indulgence Getaway includes two nights in suite accommodation, some meals and lots of chocolate. If you would like to visit chocolate shops on your travels around New Zealand visit our Chocolate Directory.
Vegetarian cooking classes are on the menu at Food Garden in Greerton. Vegetarian party food, and vegan baking are some of the classes offered, from $35. New
Somerset Cottage Restaurant and Cooking School
Cooking classes are held at the Somerset Cottage Restaurant kitchen in the morning. There are four series a year and an emphasis on inspiring people to want to go home and cook, rather than cooking dishes that professional chefs present in restaurants. Classes from $90.
Tauranga Tasting Tours & Charters
Tours include the Local Tasting Tour - visit a brewery, have lunch at Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant and end with dessert and a cocktail, from $130 plus lunch.
Red Kitchen (Cafe/Market/Cook School)
Sweets and Desserts, North African Cuisine, and Sausage Making are some of the workshops offered at Red Kitchen.
The New Zealand Cheese School Limited
Gain a New Zealand CheeseMaster qualification or do a Home Cheesemaking hands on workshop offered at various locations around the country. Those wanting to turn their cheese making talent into a business can attend Setting Up A Farmhouse Cheese Business. If cheese buying is on the menu Over the Moon Deli shares the Cheese School site at 33 Tirau Street, Putaruru.
The Lakeview House
Get active in the kitchen at a Hands on Gourmets class; get ideas on how to design table settings at the Gourmet Retreat Day, or get a large group together for The Relaxed Gourmet Group. New
To add more sizzle to your steak enrol in a BBQ Gourmet course.
The Silky Oak Chocolate Company
Cake Decorating classes are offered at Silky Oak for adults, and for children over school holidays. Also see the range of Chocolate Tours and Experiences.
Get cracking (with eggs), Let them eat ... bread! and Eat your vege! are a few of the Beginner Courses offered by Cathie's Cuisine. More Adventurous Courses include Thai One On!, and Ole! An Ode to Mexican Cuisine. New
A Game Cooking Workshop, Tapas, and Cheese Making classes are on the calendar at Farmhouse Kitchen. There are also classes for children aged 9 - 14 years during the school holidays. New
Simon and Marianna Domper are award winning cheese makers and have featured on TV shows like Taste New Zealand and Country Calendar. They run cheese making weekends that include accommodation and meals ($400pp), (excluding accommodation and meals - $250pp). Cheese & wine matching evenings ($20pp) can be arranged on request.
Careme is based at the Palliser Estate Winery in Martinborough. If you are fond of French fare Easy French, Real French and Very French may be the classes for you. Other classes include Bread and Yeast, Desserts, and Vegetarian. All classes $125pp.
Asiana Cooking School
Flavours of Asia - Indonesian, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and Malaysian are a few of the classes offered. Classes are run most nights of the week for two hours, from $40pp. Lunch time classes may be available, enquire online.
Bohemein Chocolates run hands on chocolate classes for individuals, small and large groups. Most classes are held over the weekend, from $50pp. New
The Curious Cook wants to inspire “the cook” in you. Enrol in a pasta making class or learn to be a cheesemaker in only a few hours! 'Hands-In' halloumi, ricotta and Greek-style yoghurt workshops are available or your could learn to make feta if that is what you fancy. Mozzarella cheesemaking demonstrations are also on offer if this is more your style of learning. Cheesemaking supplies are available from the online store. If you’re looking for a special gift for a friend you can buy a gift voucher for a workshop or cheesemaking supplies. Visit the website for workshop dates and costs or contact Alexis at
if you would like to organise a private class for a group of friends or colleagues.
A variety of classes are held at Elements including The Perfect Brunch, Cooking with Chocolate and Vegetarian. All classes are hands on, day and evening class options.
La Bella Italia
La Bella Italia holds Demonstration Dinners and Hands on Cooking Classes for adults and children. Antonio Cacace of La Bella Italia has been organizing Food Tours to Italy for the past few years.
Mediterranean Food Warehouse
At Mediterranean Food Warehouse you can attend cooking demonstrations by a variety of professionals from local Wellington cafes and restaurants. Wine and nibbles are included, a meal is prepared and you get to sample the end result. All recipes are provided as well as a $5 voucher to spend in-store on the night. Classes are held in the Newtown, Kapiti and Lower Hutt stores.
Mojo Coffee Shed 13
Mojo Coffee is formerly accredited to offer
City & Guilds International Award in Barista, cost $550pp for 3 days - timetable.
Ruth Pretty Cooking School, Te Horo (70km north of Wellington)
Most weekends from February - December cooking demonstrations take place, guest chefs in the kitchen in 2013 include Peta Mathias and Shaun Clouston, head chef at Logan Brown. Read Wellington based blogger Mrs Cake's - Add Friends and Chill - Ruth Pretty Cooking School. (Thanks Mrs Cake)
Sheila's Indian Kitchen
www.indiancooking.wix.com/sheila and Facebook - Indian Cooking Classes
Authentic Indian Cooking Classes - Vegetarian Cooking from North India.
Different dishes every week, eg.
naan, shahi paneer, roti, dhal, samosa, bhajias dosa, mutter paneer, gulab jamun. Cost $39pp, includes ingredients, recipes and dinner banquet after class, limit 5. Classes are held Tuesday
mornings and weekend evenings at Brooklyn Community Centre, 18 Harrison Street. Contact Anu on 021 026 97038 or book by text or e-mail
, advance bookings required. Come along for lots of fun and socialising.
Zest Food Tours
Capital Tastes, Taste Wellington, Walking Gourmet and Chocolate Espresso are offered by Zest in Wellington. They can also take you to Martinborough for the Martinborough Food and Wine Producers Tour.
Marlborough Travel run seafood tours including the Greenshell Mussel Cruise (departs from Havelock). The Seafood Odyssea Cruise and Sundowner Cruise both depart from Picton. New
A Culinary Experience B&B
Book a two night Indulgent Holiday and choose the menu that you would like to cook with Kay Pastorius, author of Cruising Cuisine.
Mapua Country Trading
Mapua Country Trading is the shop to visit if you want to work towards being self sufficient by making your own cheese, starting a worm farm, growing mushrooms, planting seeds etc. Cheese making kits are sold; cheese making and other food related workshops are run from time to time - see the Notice Board for more information.
Canterbury Sightseeing - Chocolate & Lifestyle Tours
Small group tours include a half day Bean to Bon-bon Chocolate Tour - spend two hours with a chocolatier, taste the most expensive chocolate on the planet, and make your own chocolate treats to take away. Other tours include Waipara Wine Experience and Canterbury Kaleidoscope.
You can eat, drink and learn at Chillingworth Road in Papanui. Classes include cake decorating, high tea, fish, and blokes and beers, from $30pp. Kids in the Kitchen classes are held for those aged 6 - 10 years (maximum 8), $40. New
Donna's Homemade Cheese
Would you like to learn how to make your own homemade cheese? Come along to one of Donna Stanger's cheese making workshops and let her show you how easy cheese making really is. Choose from a range of workshops - make ricotta, mozzarella, halloumi, camembert and feta. Workshops are also held around the South Island. For more information and dates visit the website or call Donna on 03 359 2455. Update Blue cheese workshops will soon be offered (March 2013).
She (Spiritual Human Evolution) Chocolat
She Chocolaterie offer a range of chocolate classes including the Half Day Hands On Chocolate Playing - make your own chocolates, try a chocolate fondue and learn how to taste fine chocolate. If you're looking for something a little different see Chocolate and Meditation.
Ground Culinary Centre
A theme or region of cuisine is chosen for the Global Dinner Classes that take place once a month on a Tuesday night at the Naval Point Yacht Club in Lyttelton. Cost is $75pp including matching wines.
A Cooking Class Culinary Tour is in development.
Allow a day for a cooking class at The Cookhouse, you begin by visiting local growers and vineyards to buy food and wine to fit the chef's menu. If you like to cook with venison see the online cooking demonstration.
Ashburton Kids Cooking School & Kitchen Garden
What's cooking in the school holidays? Visit Facebook for details, all classes are held at Aoraki Old Campus, 254 Cameron Street in Ashburton.
Seagars at Oxford - Cook School, Cafe, Accommodation & Cook Store
The Cook School at Seagars offers classes like Lunch and Learn, Italian, Mens BBQ and Kids Cook. (Oxford is approximately 50km north west of Christchurch).
Akaroa Cooking School
The Akaroa Cooking School is located opposite the main wharf in Akaroa so it's no surprise they run a Fresh from the Wharf class. The Gourmet in a Day class starts at 10am with hot drinks and fresh treats from the kitchen, then you are shown how to create and prepare a four course dinner party menu. Other classes - Canape Inspirations, A Day in Italy and Asian Inspirations.
The Kitchen Cooking Classes - Creating independent and confident cooks in kitchens around Dunedin. Courses are offered to children from 5 years through to teenagers. How about a cooking party for your next birthday? New
Judith Cullen Cooks & Travels
A secret box of ingredients is turned into a three course meal at a Judith At Home class. The Demonstration and Cook Off involves groups cooking 3-4 recipes that Judith has demonstrated. Judith also offers Dunedin Day Tours and International Tours. New
Seafood and Ploughman's platters are on the menu for lunch during the Full Day Dunedin Gourmet Taster. You also get a tour of Orokonui Ecosanctuary and a presentation by Southern Clams. Chocolate and beer take you through the afternoon before finishing with a wine tasting. Other tours include The Waitaki Taster and Dunedin Kiwi Classic Taster.
Farmers' Markets - There are more than 50 farmers' markets around New Zealand. When you visit a farmers' market you can sample and purchase produce and specialty food unique to the local area. By buying locally from the markets you are also helping to sustain the livelihoods of local growers and producers. At some of the markets musicians provide entertainment, making many of them a popular social event. Farmer's markets are held mainly at weekends, visit the website for locations.
Community Education Classes
Many high schools in New Zealand towns and cities run short term evening cooking classes and/or weekend cooking classes. The website www.xtend.co.nz will list some of the courses offered, or ask directly at your nearest high school.
Food Related Magazines
Cuisine, Taste & Dish
Cuisine is a bi-monthly magazine first published in 1986, the Cuisine website was launched in 2000. The website features recipes, restaurant reviews, "what's hot" in food, food related book reviews and "how to" guides. Dish is another bi-monthly magazine, it's magazine based rather than web based but you can subscribe to Dish's monthly e-newsletter. Taste is a monthly magazine and web based - lots of recipes and food news.