Upskill and learn how to prepare your favourite local and international flavours at these hands-on cooking schools around New Zealand.
Homeland, Auckland City
Since returning to New Zealand from the UK in 2020, the focus for chef Peter Gordon and partner Alastair Carruthers has been this versatile opening in Auckland. Combining a waterfront dining room with a cooking school and a compact providore selling Kiwi artisan produce, Homeland celebrates the food story of modern Aotearoa. Popular classes with Gordon include modern spins on a traditional roast dinner, the best of kaimoana, and baking with heart and soul.
Sachie's Kitchen, Parnell, Auckland
Co-owner Sachie Nomura is originally from Japan but has a multicultural crew assisting in the Parnell-based kitchen and in classes, where learning to cook a wide range of Asian cuisines is on offer. Sixteen different classes cover food from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, China, Vietnam and India, all excellent opportunities to learn how to recreate the flavours of past and future travels. A good-value option is to sign up for an "Asian Passport", offering individual classes in the cuisines of four different countries.
Coriander Lime Kitchen, Taupō
Growing up amid the diverse culinary culture of Singapore gave Taupō's Katherine Froggatt-Ong an appreciation for great food. Opportunities to learn from her include Girls' Weekend Cooking Classes, with lunch or dinner options held at participants' accommodation and special Little Cooks classes involving the whole family. Classes are usually scheduled for Saturdays and recipes often include Peranakan (Straits Chinese) flavours from Singapore and Malaysia.
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Farmhouse Kitchen, Hawke's Bay
Surrounded by Hawke's Bay wine country, the Farmhouse Kitchen's Travel the World classes are inspired by Italy and Indonesia – dishes include gnocchi and beef rendang, while special workshops provide skills in fermenting your own sauerkraut or kimchi, or crafting your own halloumi, mozzarella and feta cheese.
Ruth Pretty, Te Horo, Kāpiti Coast
Located around one hour north of Wellington in rural Te Horo, Ruth Pretty runs one of the Wellington region's most highly regarded catering companies. They also offer popular cooking classes from February to December. World Wednesday experiences focus on one country's cuisine per class, while weekend classes could range from tips for seafood barbecues to Kids in the Kitchen sessions.
La Bella Italia, Petone
Beyond serving up some of Wellington's best Italian food – including internationally award-winning pizza – La Bella Italia in Petone also runs cooking classes for all the family. Specialist classes for adults in making ravioli and gnocchi come with antipasti and a glass of prosecco, while children enjoy juice and cookies when they learn all about making tagliatelle. At least someone in the family will know how to make dinner.
Savour Cooking School, Wellington
Based in both Brooklyn and Lyall Bay, Wellington's Savour offers arguably the country's most diverse culinary experiences. Egyptian, Persian, French and Chinese food are all covered in individual classes, while specialist knife skills and the increasingly popular trend of foraging and wild food are also options. Expeditions in the bush around Lyall Bay are led by Mike King of Finders Eater Foraging. Foraged ingredients are then harnessed for dishes prepared by Max Gordy, head chef at the popular Hillside Kitchen.
Akaroa Cooking School, Akaroa
Look forward to a serene harbourside location at this Akaroa highlight lauded by Lonely Planet's Best in Travel as one of the world's 10 best cookery schools. Many of the recipes harness local produce and ingredients, and there's a global focus on flavours with options including French, Italian, Thai and Spanish cuisine. If you're keen to bring your A-game to your next dinner party, sign up for the popular Gourmet in a Day class.
H2 Kitchen, Christchurch
Part of central Christchurch's Riverside Market, Riverside Kitchen's upstairs location is the ideal spot for learning about diverse cuisines including Mexican, Malay, Persian and Indian. Most classes are hands-on, concluding with a shared meal, while demonstration classes explore the market's seasonal produce stalls or uncover the secrets behind seafood preparation. Special Mediterranean kids classes get younger chefs, (9 years and older), rolling up their sleeves to make pizza.
Asian Garden, Christchurch
Part of a restaurant network including Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese eateries across southern New Zealand, Asian Garden brings the same culinary diversity to cooking classes held at their northwest Christchurch location. Seasonal ingredients from their own Harewood market garden are used at popular Christchurch restaurants including Hoi An House and Commi and also for cooking classes covering dumpling making, as well as Thai and Vietnamese favourites.